SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The latest trend to avoid the spread of COVID-19 has been working remotely from home. It has become the new procedure that ABC7 has adapted. It allows most of the staff to stay away from the workplace, while partaking in normal work duties.
“It’s critical that we get you this information as safely as possible. So we have folks in studio and folks community working remotely, and we also folks at home trying best to get you information that you need when you need it," says Jeff Benningoff, the General Manager of ABC7.
You may have noticed shows are being done with one anchor only. This is to practice social distancing and to minimize the amount of interaction between one another.
Meteorologists are beginning the transition by preparing and delivering forecasts from home during each designated show. Chief Meteorologist Bob Harrigan has transformed his living room into the new First Alert Weather Center.
“He says it’s great not having to commute back and forth from home and to be able to spend more time with his family.”
The interaction between each other within the ABC7 workplace has created long-lasting friendships. “Of course I miss all of my ABC7 family, and I am sure as the days wear on, that it will be a more and more deeply felt experience."
For some it has been an easy transition. ABC7 anchor and reporter Rebecca Fernandez says, “I’m pretty used to this as you know my office changes every single day, but the important thing is my routine stays the same. I shoot my stories, write my script, edit my video and go live from wherever the story took place that day to make sure that I am giving all the important information to you the viewers every night.”
“I have been able to work very efficiently. I use one program to build my shows and so this is it. It is called ENPS. I am also keeping up with all of my emails as new stuff comes down," says Allison Plummer, who is a producer for the 4pm show.
Journalists are working remotely from their vehicles. They have all of the necessary gear to film video footage, put together stories and even go live all without ever entering the building.
“It certainly has been a very surreal experience for all of us. But we are going to keep on bringing you the news that you need to know about especially when it comes to coronavirus. For me this has essentially become my newsroom. The vehicle is where I am working out of now," says Rick Adams.
We will do whatever it takes to make sure that you are informed with the latest news and weather.