A room for press covering the debate and the cable network's 'spin room' will also be eliminated from the network's March 15 debate to protect 'the safety of our employees and community members.'
CNN has become the latest organization to reorganize its events amid fears over the spread of coronavirus.
On the heels of the announcement that Coachella and Stagecoach were being postponed due to the disease, the news cable network said on Tuesday that it was removing a live audience from its upcoming March 15 Democratic debate in Phoenix.
"CNN's top priority is the safety of our employees and community members. This extends to guests planning to attend or cover our debate on March 15. At the request of the campaigns and out of an abundance of caution, we have made the decision to eliminate the live audience, the press filing center and the spin room in Phoenix," the network said in a statement. "We encourage you to tune in to the debate at 8 pm ET."
In her own statement about the decision, Democratic National Committee communications director Xochitl Hinojosa said, "DNC has been in regular communication with local health officials and themayor's office, which advised that we could proceed as planned. Nevertheless, our number one priority has and will continue to be the safety of our staff, campaigns, Arizonans and all those involved in the debate. We will continue to remain in daily contact with all stakeholders through Sunday."
Arizona's primary is scheduled for March 17.
CNN's decision follows recent safety measures taken by the campaigns for the Democratic nomination, led by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden. Earlier on Tuesday, Biden and Sanders both canceled rallies in Ohio, whose primary is also March 17, over concerns about the spread of coronavirus. The Massachusetts Democratic Party also temporarily suspended caucuses in light of the virus' expansion on the East Coast.
Other television programs have removed live audiences in recent weeks: Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and The Wendy Williams Show have all started taping without an audience.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Fox Business Network has severed ties with primetime host Trish Regan, who sparked controversy after claiming that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic was an “impeachment scam” around two weeks ago.
“Fox Business has parted ways with Trish Regan,” the network said in a statement. “We thank her for her contributions to the network over the years and wish her continued success in her future endeavors. We will continue our reduced live primetime schedule for the foreseeable future in an effort to allocate staff resources to continuous breaking news coverage on the coronavirus crisis.”
The network's decision stemmed from an early March segment on “Trish Regan Primetime,” the television host's now-defunct show, where Regan told a multitude of lies about the virus. Regan alleged that Democrats were singularly blaming President Donald Trump for the virus and that Democrats and left-wingers had a “need to create mass hysteria to encourage a market selloff” and “stop the economy,” all while a large graphic titled “CORONAVIRUS IMPEACHMENT SCAM” was displayed onscreen.
Regan announced that her show had been placed on hiatus on March 13, the day she hosted her final show. Regan is one of several Fox personalities and guests who have recently lied and downplayed the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro downplayed the virus' deadliness in early March, while network host Laura Ingraham, who previously taunted school shooting survivor David Hogg, then 17, for getting rejected from colleges, promoted unproven drugs in response to the pandemic. Sean Hannity previously referred to the coronavirus as a “hoax.” Conservative personality and university heir Jerry Falwell Jr. recently promoted a conspiracy theory on Fox and Friends that the coronavirus was co-created by North Korea and China to assault the United States and, like Regan, suggested that media coverage of the pandemic was politically motivated.
Though Regan's comments about the coronavirus generated particularly strong pushback, they weren't the first time that the television host had generated controversy. Regan's prior segments included accusations that Christine Blasey Ford’s sexual assault claims against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh were politically motivated and a suggestion that Ilhan Omar D-Minnesota — a favorite target for racist attacks by Trump and other prominent conservatives — was antisemitic.
Regan, who joined Fox in 2015, also aired a variety of interviews with conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi, who has actively promoted the birther conspiracies about President Barack Obama's citizenship, during her time at the network.
“I have enjoyed my time at FOX and now intend to focus on my...
Editors' Note: With full acknowledgment of the big-picture implications of a pandemic that has already claimed thousands of lives, cratered global economies and closed international borders, Deadline's Coping With COVID-19 Crisis series is a forum for those in the entertainment space grappling with myriad consequences of seeing a great industry screech to a halt. The hope is for an exchange of ideas and experiences, and suggestions on how businesses and individuals can best ride out a crisis that doesn't look like it will abate any time soon. If you have a story, email [email protected]
All journalists face huge challenges in trying to keep the public informed and government honest during this unprecedented health crisis moment. It has particularly hit hard on television news operations, as news heads grapple with keeping the newsgathering going even as some of their own employees are testing positive and in some cases, dying. Here is a column written under anonymity by someone who wished to be identified only as a senior segment producer of a prime time show on MSNBC. The contributor believes that NBC News is creating a potentially dangerous environment by keeping open its 30 Rockefeller Center offices.
The decision is simple, the execution is complicated.
CBS News shut down the CBS Broadcast Center after people there tested positive for coronavirus. NBC News, with multiple confirmed cases at its headquarters at 30 Rock, as well as one tragic death, still has not shut down the building.
NBC News/ MSNBC has a far more vast operation at 30 Rock than CBS News has at its New York headquarters, making the execution of such a decision far more difficult. That does not however change the vital importance of the decision itself. It is the right decision. Shut that building down.
Here is just one idea. Shut down the building at 30 Rock, ask that anyone who has worked in that building within the past two weeks begin to self-quarantine for at least two weeks. Then slowly reopen the building at a future date. In the meantime, NBC News has a vast array of locations from which to broadcast its many shows. No, it would not be easy. But it is essential. Any number of variations on this idea might work, but they all rest on one simple premise.
Shut down 30 Rock.
Of course it is entirely possible that satellite operations could wind up with cases of the virus as well. But the entire point of 'distancing' is to reduce the chances. That's why CBS News took its weekday morning show, its Sunday morning show, its local news shows, and 60 Minutes, to name just a few operations, and spun them off into different locales once cases of coronavirus struck its headquarters. By doing that, the company reduced the chance of further infection while still broadcasting....
On news broadcasts and cable news channels, the company will reduce commercial loads to allow for more programming. On the entertainment front, late night shows as well as unscripted series on Bravo, E! and USA, will all feature extended episodes and bonus content in lieu of some commercial pods.
NBCUniversal will reduce advertising loads across its networks and add more entertainment and news content as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues, and as families quarantine at home.
“Now, people all across America are turning to us more for the content that comforts them and connects them to the outside world,” writes NBCUniversal ad sales and partnerships chairman Linda Yaccarino in a blog post Monday afternoon. “At the same time, some marketers across every industry have asked to pause their advertising plans or shift their messages, and they're looking for ideas, tools, and strategies from their most trusted partners. So, in light of everything we're seeing and hearing, we want to do what's right for our audiences and marketers.”
On the broadcast news shows and the company's cable news channels MSNBC and CNBC, the company will reduce commercial loads to allow for more news and information programming.
On the entertainment front, late night shows The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen now originating from the hosts' homes, as well as unscripted series on Bravo, E! and USA, will all feature extended episodes and bonus content in lieu of some commercial pods.
Some of the company's channels will also launch family movie nights, with sponsored but commercial-free airings of films.
Late last month the advertising research firm Magna Global predicted that the U.S. TV ad market would fall by 13 percent in 2020 due to the fallout from the pandemic, calling the situation “totally unprecedented.” The travel, restaurant and movie sectors in particular have pulled back ad spend.
In addition, NBCUniversal finds itself in the position of having to fill many hours of programming that had been set aside for coverage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have since been postponed until 2021.
Yaccarino also writes that the company will be engaging in outreach to companies and waiving fees “to allow companies to reach their customers directly in their homes and generate much-needed sales.” That will include access to remote production teams, brand assets, talent, translation services, and editing services, which can all be used to create new campaigns even as most people are staying home.
The company also released new research on Monday outlining the increased media consumption during the last few weeks. The research found that digital and linear TV viewing is up, gaming is up significantly, and that streaming services are seeing subscription gains, while...