Global News confirmed Monday that two employees at its Toronto television station have tested positive for COVID-19, while several broadcasters at other networks are doing their shows remotely in self-isolation.
Rishma Govani, senior manager of news and radio communications for Global News, said in a statement that both employees are in quarantine and staff who’ve been in close contact being identified and advised to self-isolate.
Global News personality Farrah Nasser, who just returned from a vacation to Mexico, took the unusual step Monday of co-anchoring the Global Toronto evening newscast from her backyard as her and her family self-isolate for 14 days under public health guidelines.
Global Toronto’s @FarahNasser anchored the Monday evening newscast from her backyard, in self-isolation after travelling abroad. She shares her experience:
— Globalnews.ca (@globalnews) March 17, 2020
Behind the scenes photos from my first day working/anchoring from home. Not sure it’s been done before but these are unusual times. Very cool seeing my kids watching from inside. #SelfIsolation #Day3 #FlattenTheCurve #covid19Canada pic.twitter.com/Mmk475CUMc
— Farah Nasser (@FarahNasser) March 17, 2020
Elsewhere within the Corus network, Taz and Jim of FM96 (CFPL-FM) London are broadcasting the station’s morning show from their respective homes, as the on-air duo is also under 14-day quarantine after arriving home from international travel.
Aaron Rand, a host at Bell Media’s CJAD 800 in Montreal, is also doing his show from his home studio after returning from Mexico. Bell told Broadcast Dialogue in an email that they are making that accommodation for on-air talent where possible.
Rogers Sports & Media said it’s also exploring technical solutions for its producers and on-air personalities to create content from home and has moved to reduce its live-in-house productions.
While CityNews, Breakfast Television, OMNI News, and all Rogers Radio stations continue with live production, Sportsnet and Cityline have temporarily ceased all live in-house productions.
Rogers tv has also paused some live productions and redeployed resources to focus on coverage of city and health authority news conferences and local information on COVID-19. For Citytv and OMNI original productions, commissioned shows Hudson & Rex and The Wedding Planners have already wrapped for the season while Blood & Water has suspended production until further notice. The network said it’s continuing to work with its production partners to build out contingency plans.
As of Monday, Stingray had one staff member in self-isolation, in addition to several others scheduled to return from vacation.
Stingray has delayed a move to air syndicated morning show programming on Toronto’s Flow 93.5 (CFXJ-FM) to meet the demand for local info on COVID-19, with former morning show team Peter Kash and Blake Carter to fill the morning timeslot going forward. The radio network has also introduced hourly newscasts across its stations from coast-to-coast.
“We have advised all staff who can work from home to do so for the foreseeable future,” said Steve Jones, SVP Brands & Content, Radio, on Monday. “Most sales and admin positions are now working from home, or at least working reduced office hours.”
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