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If Jonathan Adkins, who oversees the broadcast news operation at Cleveland’s WKYC, wants to see the dramatic effects of COVID-19 on TV news production, all he has to do is go downstairs.
“If a year ago, you had told me I could sit in my basement in my house and see 16 live feeds from the field, have direct interaction with the talent on the set, and be able to watch feeds and our broadcasts with less than a half second delay, I would have thought you were crazy,” he says. Adkins can even re-set the teleprompter from home.
Part of the makeshift control room in the basement of broadcast news head Jonathan Adkins (All images courtesy of WKYC).
“An industry that has been famously plagued by tradition — we still put on broadcasts that look the same way they did when we were all children, and our parents were children — was suddenly forced to innovate,” says Adam Miller, Director of Content at WKYC. In that role, which station owner TEGNA has introduced around the country in lieu of a more conventional management structure, he oversees both Adkins and a head of digital, Denise Polverine.
“If we go back to the way things were, we failed,” Miller says. Adkins agrees: “I think our eyes have been opened over this last year to say, ‘Hey, it’s not acceptable to do things in the manner that we’ve done them before.’ We need to be different as an industry to be