Adam Clark’s weather report on Monday night included talk of a warm front moving through the area and an 80% chance of rain. It also, at the request of KBJR anchors Bonney Bowman and Dan Wolfe, had an update on his dog.
“She is passed out on the couch,” Clark said of Daisy, his 12-year-old border collie-flat coated retriever. “I didn’t have the heart to wake her up.”
Letting Daisy sleep — it’s the least he could do. Clark, the NBC affiliate’s chief meteorologist, has taken over the dog’s designated space to create a home weather studio. He has paid tribute to her in the title: Daisy Dog Studios. Like a lot of television journalists, both locally and around the country, Clark is reporting live from a makeshift corner of his home. The intent is to create distance between the stations’ employees to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Monday marked the start of Clark’s second week of going live from Daisy Dog Studios.
“I’m just glad to have a job that will let me do this,” Clark said. “That they care enough to lower the headcount (at the station).”
Clark’s setup includes a Comrex, which uses a cellphone signal and internet to connect with headquarters, three lights, a camera, tripod and laptop. He has a cable running from the second-level studio to the bathroom and down the laundry chute to the kitchen nook.
There is a blanket covering a window to eliminate screen glare and a bench for perching. His graphics play on the TV that was in the basement for viewing while on the treadmill; the TV stand is a piece of castoff furniture.
“It kind of looks like I’m in the studio,” he said.
Kelly Hinseth, the sports director at CBS3, took great care with the backdrop of her home studio in the corner of a small, closet-less one-bedroom apartment. She hung jerseys: Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Steph Curry, Zach Parise and Andrew Wiggins. When she took heat for not having a University of Minnesota Duluth jersey, play-by-play announcer Bruce Ciskie loaned her one.
This week, Hinseth relocated to her parents’ home in Andover, Minnesota, which offers more studio options — like her brother’s childhood room with its has sporty wallpaper and decorative pennants, but also her nieces’ cribs and toys.
“It’s been interesting,” Hinseth said. “You feed off the energy of co-anchors. Sometimes it’s hard to be sitting in my little apartment talking about sports news of the day — or lack thereof.”
Baihly Warfield, an anchor at WDIO, will be making this shift to a home studio this week — at least for a test run. She and Darren Danielson have been trading off solo anchoring for the local ABC affiliate. Next week, they'll go live from home full time.
She set up an empty room with blankets to soak up sound, a TV for graphics, an iPad for a teleprompter.
She expects some hiccups, but the viewers, she said, are being very forgiving right now.
These home-studio setups have had a glitch or two. Clark's microphone died, and he's navigating with a touchy mouse pad. Hinseth lost the notes on her phone.
“For me, I had to step back and offer grace for myself, grace for my employees,” Hinseth said. “This is all uncharted territory. We’re in this together.”