‘Big Gulp’ spill: What are your station’s rules on beverages in studio?

Fox New York anchor Greg Kelly was covering the city’s soda ban on the morning news when he held up his large “Big Gulp” travel mug to illustrate the story — and then proceeded to spill it all over himself, the anchor desk and his coanchor Rosanna Scotto.

The liquid and ice inside the travel mug made quite a mess on the set, requiring a member of the crew to come on set and help clean it up with a wastebasket.

With sets becoming stocked with more and more sensitive electronics, including on and inside the anchor desk itself, and easily damaged surfaces and finishes, it’s not unheard of for stations to ban food and beverages in the studio. Often stations will make exceptions for water or beverages with lids, however.

As anyone who’s been in a TV studio can attest, anchor desks often hide a Medusa of wiring and plethora of electronics such as microphone and IFB hookups, phones, printers, monitors and as well as laptops and tablets, all of which could be easily damaged by liquid.

The popularity of glass-topped anchor desks means that many anchor desk surfaces do double duty as both a sleek surface but also a way to shield the electronics from damage. Those glass surfaces, however, can be a beast to keep clean and free of smears.

Other areas of the set, including laminates and printed graphics can be equally sensitive to damage from liquid — especially soda, which typically contains citric acid.

What about your station? Are you allowed to have food or beverage in the studio? Are there exceptions for certain kinds? Have you ever seen a set damaged by food or drink?

Leave your responses in the comments below.

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