CBS’s O’Donnell on technical glitch that shut down newscast: ‘Working in the era of COVID-19’

“CBS Evening News” anchor Norah O’Donnell addressed technical failure that resulted in the newscast not being aired on the East Coast earlier this week, calling it a result of “working in the era of COVID-19” with many network staffers producing the program from home.

“Before we leave tonight, a brief note about working in the era of COVID-19. Last night, some of you weren’t able to see this broadcast due to a technical failure that kept us off the air on the East Coast,” she told viewers at the end of Wednesday night’s broadcast. “Like so many of you, for more than two months, we’ve been figuring out how to work from home with limited access to our offices and our usual technology.”

“But that hasn’t stopped our commitment to bringing you the news,” she added. “I’m extraordinarily proud of our small team and everyone at CBS News who all work so hard to bring you this broadcast. And we appreciate you watching each evening and for your messages of support.”

The Tuesday evening edition of the news program aired on the West Coast after the issues were resolved.

The CBS broadcast had originated out of New York dating back to the 1950s, but moved to Washington, D.C., where O’Donnell is based. She was named anchor of the “CBS Evening News” in 2019, replacing Jeff Glor.

All national news organizations have employees mostly working from home since stay-at-home orders were issued across the country beginning in March.

Last week, Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan said that the newspaper’s offices will remain closed until after Labor Day, writing in a memo to staff that “we have concerns that we cannot adequately safeguard the health of our employees with a return to office work.”

“We thought it would be a matter of a few weeks before we could safely return,” Ryan said. “[But] we have concerns that we cannot adequately safeguard the health of our employees with a return to office work.”

The overall coronavirus death toll in D.C. is currently at 400, according to a New York Times tracker. 


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