Chicago stations keep traffic reporters home

Two Chicago stations are having their traffic reporters join their morning news remotely from home.

Chicago TV

This column is part of NewscastStudio's regular "Chicago TV" column that covers the latest in Chicago broadcasting.

WLS’s Roz Varon and WBBM’s Yasmeen Hassan both joined their respective shows from home using video calling Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Varon last appeared in studio March 18 — though the station “four boxed” Varon, anchors Terrell Brown and Tanja Babich and meteorologist Tracy Butler as part of social distancing efforts.

Hassan, meanwhile, was on March 18’s WBBM’s “CBS 2 Morning News” but joined remotely from a highway overpass.

The station also had been boxing anchors Ryan Baker who is at the station’s main anchor desk and Erin Kennedy in the newsroom along with meteorologist Megan Glaros in the in studio weather center and Hassen. 

Although neither WBBM or WLS have had reported any staff infections, having the stations’ traffic reporters work remotely is a smart move to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially give that traffic in general is lighter than normal with much of America working remotely.

Both traffic reporters joined the newscasts via video calls and without any fancy home TV studio setup.

Varon joined from what appeared to be a room off of her dining room, while Hassen was set up in front of a white wall.

On March 20, Varon’s home studio got an upgrade — a large video screen. Varon also relocated to her kitchen. 

The device feeding the screen appeared to have some performance issues, especially when animations were used.

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