MetroFocus: April 24, 2020

From the Hudson Valley to Brooklyn and New Jersey, our hosts Jenna Flanagan, Jack Ford and Rafael Pi Roman invite you into their homes for a different look at the headlines through a very personal lens. Hear Jenna recall her shock over learning she would be broadcasting from home and the challenges of creating a studio inside your living room while struggling to get the lighting just right. Hear Jack talk about how interviewing guests from their homes has created more intimate conversations and get a glimpse into his family life on the Jersey Shore with three generations ‘sheltering at home’ under one roof. And hear Raf talk about the profound effect social distancing has had on him and answer viewers’ burning twitter questions about the wall of books behind him.

Aired on April 24, 2020. 

TRANSCRIPT

> THIS IS 'METROFOCUS' WITH RAFAEL P. RAMON, JACK FORD AND JENNA FLANAGAN.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

> HI, I'M JENNY FLANAGAN OF 'METROFOCUS.'

WE'VE BEEN STRIVING TO CONTINUE TO BRING YOU THE IMPORTANT STORIES AS WE ALL ADJUST TO THE CHANGES BROUGHT BY ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS.

BUT TONIGHT WE'RE GOING TO SHARE OUR STORIES.

SO I'M JOINED, OF COURSE, BY MY OTHER TWO 'METROFOCUS' HOSTS RAFAEL P. RAMON AND JACK FORD.

HOW IS EVERYBODY DOING?

HEY, JEN.

I GET TO SEE ALL OF YOU GUYS.

WE ARE RARELY EVER SEEN TOGETHER.

I KNOW!

THERE'S A MYTH WE DON'T ALL EXIST.

BUT IT'S NOT TO SEE EVERYBODY TOGETHER AND EVERYBODY WELL.

IT REALLY IS.

YOU TOO.

HERE'S WHAT I HAVE REALLY BEEN WONDERING.

I KNOW WHAT A SHOCK TO MY SYSTEM IT WAS.

HOW DID YOU GUYS FIND OUT -- THIS IS ALMOST LIKE -- I DON'T WANT TO COMPARE IT TO SOMETHING OTHER REALLY BIG IN AMERICAN HISTORY BUT WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU FOUND OUT THAT WE WERE GOING TO BE DOING THIS FROM HOME, AND WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION?

JACK, YOU TAKE IT.

WELL, WHAT HAPPENED WITH ME IS ABOUT A MONTH OR SO AGO NOW, ONE OF THE THINGS I NOTICED HERE IS WE LOSE TRACK OF TIME AND LOSE TRACK OF PARTICULAR DAYS, RIGHT?

BUT IT WAS ABOUT A MONTH OR SO AND I ACTUALLY WENT INTO THE CITY.

I LIVE IN A LITTLE TOWN ON THE JERSEY SHORE.

WENT INTO THE CITY, TO OUR STUDIOS AND TO TAPE A CONVERSATION.

SUNDAY WAS THE ONLY DAY IT WOULD WORK.

WE WANTED TO GO ON ON MONDAY.

DROVE OUT AND AT THIS TIME THERE WERE NOT THE DRACONIAN ORDERS WE HAVE NOW IN TERMS OF LIMITING PEOPLE.

BUT THERE WASN'T MUCH OF A CROWD.

DROVE IN.

THERE WERE ONE OR TWO FOLKS THERE THAT I ALWAYS WORK WITH.

DID THE INTERVIEW, BUTTONED IT UP, LEFT.

AND ON THE WAY BACK HOME, I TALKED TO SOME OF OUR PRODUCERS AND THE SUGGESTION WAS MADE, YOU KNOW WHAT, YOU MIGHT NOT BE COMING IN AGAIN THIS WEEK.

SO WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO DO THIS.

I SAID FINE, WE'LL TALK.

I GOT OFF THE PHONE AND THE REST OF THE WAY I'M DRIVING HOME AND I'M THINKING, ALL RIGHT, WE KNOW THIS IS GOING TO GET ODD.

WE KNOW IT'S GOING TO GET UNUSUAL.

OUR NEW REALITY IS GOING TO BE VERY DIFFERENT.

AND I -- YOU KNOW, WE'VE ALL DONE SOME REMOTE THINGS, OBVIOUSLY.

BUT THE IDEA HOW DO WE HOST A SHOW LIKE THIS, WHERE WE ALL ARE ENGAGED WITH CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR GUESTS, HOW WILL THAT WORK IF WE'RE NOT SITTING WITH OUR GUESTS?

WHICH I THINK IS SORT OF THE HALLMARK OF WHAT WE DO.

I ALWAYS FELT THAT ONE OF THE GREAT VALUES OF 'METROFOCUS' IS WHEN THE THREE OF US SIT DOWN, WE'RE HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEONE.

YEAH.

IT'S AN INTERVIEW.

AND I WAS WONDERING HOW WILL WE BE ABLE TO DO THAT?

THAT'S HOW I FOUND OUT.

JENNA, ME, AS YOU REMEMBER, JENNA, THE WEEK -- I WAS OUT THE WEEK BEFORE THE STATION CLOSED DOWN.

THAT'S RIGHT.

BECAUSE I HAD A TERRIBLE BACK INJURY AND MY NECK WAS REALLY PAINFUL, WHICH WAS COMPOUNDED BY THE FACT A DOCTOR GAVE ME MEDICATION, IT WAS STEROIDS, THAT MESSED WITH MY BRAIN.

I MEAN, I WAS OUT OF IT FOR A WEEK.

I WAS PARANOID.

I WAS NERVOUS.

THE WORLD WAS NOT WITH ME.

SO IN THAT WHOLE WEEK, I WAS GETTING TREATMENT.

AND SO I ACTUALLY MISSED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE, I MISSED WHAT WAS GOING ON.

I WAS NOT UP TO DATE WITH THE GRAVITY OF THE SITUATION.

IF YOU REMEMBER, WE WERE DOING SEGMENTS BEFORE THAT WHERE THE MAYOR AND GOVERNOR WAS SAYING, NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT HERE.

WE'VE GOT IT UNDER CONTROL.

THAT IS WHAT I WAS THINKING.

EVEN THOUGH WHEN I WAS TRAVELING AND I WAS NOTICING THE SUBWAY WAS NOTABLY EMPTIER, BUT SUDDENLY, AS THE MEDICATION WORE OFF AND I BEGAN TO SEE REALITY, I SAID OKAY, GOOD, I'M GOING BACK TO WORK ON MONDAY.

GOOD, IT'S GOING TO GO BACK TO NORMAL.

AND THEN JACK THAT SUNDAY THAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, I GOT THE EMAIL.

OH, WE'RE NOT COMING BACK.

AND BY THE WAY, HERE'S AN ATTACHMENT, THIS IS HOW WE'RE GOING TO DO IT.

OF COURSE THE ATTACHMENT WAS THE LIST OF THINGS WE HAD TO DO WITH TECHNOLOGY AND NOBODY EVER ACCUSED ME OF BEING A TECHNOLOGICAL WIZARD.

SO MY FIST RESPONSE WAS, I CAN'T DO THAT!

SO IT WAS A SLEEPLESS NIGHT WAITING FOR THE NEXT DAY TO SEE HOW I COULD FIGURE THIS OUT.

OUR GUARDIAN ANGEL, SASHA SCHECKTER, WHO HELPED US THROUGH ALL OF THIS, SHE FINALLY -- EVEN I COULD UNDERSTAND HER WORDS, MORE OR LESS.

NO, THAT SOUNDS PRETTY MUCH IT.

THAT SUNDAY NIGHT I THINK WAS SO SURREAL FOR ME.

I BELIEVE THAT WAS THE NIGHT THAT I GOT A CALL FROM THE PRODUCERS SAYING LISTEN, WE'RE GOING TO BE DOING THIS FROM HOME.

AND I DON'T THINK -- I MEAN, IT KIND OF REGISTERED BUT IT DIDN'T REALLY REGISTER.

THAT THIS WOULD BE THE NEW NORMAL.

AND IT BECAME A MATTER OF DOWNLOAD THIS PROGRAM, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THIS AND HERE ARE THE PEOPLE WE'RE GOING TO DO BECAUSE THAT FIRST WEEK, I WAS THE PERSON WHO WAS DOING THE SHOW.

AND THAT HAD TO BE THE MOST SURREAL WEEK OF MY ENTIRE CAREER.

AND I STARTED WORKING IN BROADCASTING LIKE I WANT TO SAY, IT WAS THE SUMMER BEFORE THE BIG ELECTION OF 2004 VERSUS BUSH.

I THOUGHT BETWEEN THAT ELECTION AND 9/11 AND ALL OF THIS OTHER STUFF I HAVE SEEN IT ALL.

COULDN'T BE MORE WRONG.

NOBODY HAD SEEN ANY OF THIS.

YEAH.

JACK, HOW HAVE YOU -- YOU TALKED ABOUT THE CORE OF OUR -- THE ESSENCE OF OUR INTERVIEW CAN THE CONVERSATIONS, THAT OUR INTERVIEWS, OUR CONVERSATIONS, HOW HAVE YOU FOUND THESE -- HAVE YOU FOUND THAT THESE ARE DIFFERENT THAN CONVERSATIONS, WHAT WE'RE DOING NOW?

YEAH, THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.

I WAS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT HOW OUR ABILITY TO ENGAGE AT THAT LEVEL.

I THINK AS I SAID BEFORE, ONE OF THE HALLMARKS OF WHAT WE DO IS THE ABILITY TO ENGAGE WITH OUR GUESTS AND HAVE THESE GENUINE CONVERSATIONS.

I ALWAYS LIKE TO THINK OUR VIEWERS WERE LISTENING IN ON OUR CONVERSATIONS RATHER THAN WATCHING AN INTERVIEW.

AND ONE OF THE WAYS -- AND WE ALL DO IT DIFFERENTLY BUT WE ALL DO THE SAME THING, WHICH IS -- I HAVE SEEN THE TWO OF YOU DO IT SIMILAR TO WHAT I DO, WE TRY TO ENGAGE WITH OUR GUESTS BEFOREHAND, JUST TO MAKE THEM COMFORTABLE WITH US.

WE WILL FIND SOMETHING WE HAVE IN COMMON WITH THEM AND CHAT ABOUT THAT.

THIS ALL BEFORE THE CAMERAS START TO ROLL WITH THE INTERVIEW.

AND I HAVE ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HELP US AND, AGAIN, DISTINGUISH US FROM OTHER SHOWS, HELPS US, BECAUSE BY THE TIME WE START TO ROLL ON THE INTERVIEW, WE ESTABLISH A BIT OF A RAPPORT WITH OUR GUESTS AND HOPEFULLY WE MADE THEM MORE COMFORTABLE AND THAT MAKES THEM MORE AMENABLE TO OPENING UP AND TALKING.

SO I WAS REALLY WORRIED ABOUT THAT PART OF IT.

WHAT I FOUND IS I GOT ON BEFOREHAND AND I TRY TO DO THAT AS BEST AS I CAN.

NOW IT'S DIFFERENT WHEN YOUR GUEST IS LOOKING AT A COMPUTER SCREEN AS OPPOSED TO WHEN THE GUEST IS TWO FEET AWAY FROM YOU AND YOU'RE CHATTING WITH THEM.

SO THAT TO ME IS WHAT I FOUND IS KIND OF MOST DIFFICULT ABOUT THIS.

I GET A SENSE IT'S STILL WORKING FINE.

I THINK IT'S STILL SEEING US DO CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE.

BUT I THINK THERE'S A LITTLE BIT OF AN INABILITY TO CREATE THAT RAPPORT WITH A GUEST WHEN YOU KNOW THEY'RE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF MILES AWAY FROM YOU AND THEY'RE SITTING IN A KITCHEN OR SOMEPLACE AND I'M IN MY LIVING ROOM, I THINK IT -- I WILL SAY THIS, I THINK IT'S BEEN MUCH BETTER THAN I FEARED IT WOULD BE.

MAYBE THAT'S THE BEST WAY FOR ME TO CHARACTERIZE IT.

I THINK THAT'S FAIR.

WHAT WAS THAT?

WHAT'S YOUR REACTION TO WHAT'S BEEN THE DIFFERENCE IN EXPERIENCE FOR YOU BETWEEN THE INTERVIEWS AS WE CONDUCT THEM NOW AS HOW WE USED TO?

AS JACK WAS SAYING, I'M DEFINITELY THE KIND OF JOURNALIST THAT THRIVES ON IN-PERSON CONTACT.

SO THIS DISTANCE HAS BEEN SUPER WEIRD.

LIKE THE BEST WAY I CAN DESCRIBE IT I WAS THE ONE TEENAGER IN AMERICA WHO NEVER WENT THROUGH A PHONE PHASE BECAUSE I NEED TO BE IN SOMEONE'S PRESENCE TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEM.

SO THIS HAS BEEN AWKWARD TO TRY TO CREATE THAT SENSE OF INTIMACY AND WARMTH WHEN, AGAIN, I'M LITERALLY STARING AT THE LITTLE COMPUTER CAMERA AND NOT REALLY TRYING TO LOOK DOWN AT THE SCREEN WHERE YOU GUYS ARE BECAUSE THEN YOU'LL SEE MY EYES AND IT WILL LOOK AWKWARD.

SO I TRY TO ADJUST TO THESE THINGS THAT SEEM UNNATURAL.

I TRY TO MAKE IT WORK AS WELL AS I CAN BUT THERE'S STILL AN ODD, UNNATURAL FEELING.

FOR ME, I GUESS I HAVE A DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE THAN YOU GUYS HAD.

BECAUSE WHAT I SENSE IS, BECAUSE EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT THIS WAY OF CONDUCTING AN INTERVIEW IS NOT GOING TO BE PERFECT LIKE IT CAN BE IN THE STUDIO, I HAVE THE SENSE THAT PEOPLE HAVE -- ARE MORE AT EASE.

ARE MORE, OKAY, LET THE FREE FLAGS FLY.

LIKE I INTERVUNIEWED A COUPLE POLITICIANS THAT I NOTICED IN THE INTERVIEW, I NOTICED WERE MORE HUMAN, LESS PROGRAMMED.

THAT WAS MY SENSE.

AND I KEPT CAN HE DOING, JACK, LIKE YOU TALKED ABOUT WHAT WE DO, BEFORE I START THE INTERVIEW, I SPEAK TO THEM HERE, I SPEAK TO THEM ACROSS OUR HUNDREDS OF MILES OR TENS OF MILES -- OR FIVE OR TEN MINUTES, SO WE GET THAT CLOSENESS.

BUT TO SOME DEGREE THE FACT IT'S AN IMPERFECT PROCESS I THINK HAS MADE IT IT AT LEAST FOR ME A LITTLE MORE EASY IN SOME WAY.

I AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT THAT BECAUSE -- AND WE ALL TALKED ABOUT THIS BEFORE, ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT 0 HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH SOMEBODY WHO'S NOT USED TO BEING ON TELEVISION IS BECAUSE WHEN YOU'RE SITTING IN OUR STUDIOS AND THEY'RE CONFRONTED WITH FOUR CAMERAS OUT THERE, IT CAN BE INTIMIDATING FOR SOMEONE WHO IS NOT USED TO DOING THAT.

RAF, I THINK YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT WITH THE NOTION NOW WE'RE TALKING TO PEOPLE WHO ARE LITERALLY IN THEIR KITCHENS OR THEIR FAMILY ROOMS OR THEIR LIVING ROOMS.

THE SURROUNDING IS NOT FOREIGN TO THEM.

IT'S A SURROUNDING THAT'S EMBRACING TO THEM.

AND I THINK YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT THAT IT'S ODD TO TALK TO YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN, BUT FOR MOST PEOPLE IT'S EVEN MORE ODD TO BE SITTING IN OUR STUDIO SURROUNDED BY TELEVISION CAMERAS.

I THINK YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, RAF, WHEN YOU SAY A LOT OF OUR GUESTS I SAY HAVE BEEN VERY COMFORTABLE AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THAT.

SPEAKING OF STUDIOS THOUGH, WHERE IS YOUR HOME STUDIO?

BECAUSE FOR ME WHAT YOU'RE SEEING BEHIND ME IS MY COUCH, MY LIVING ROOM WALL, ET CETERA.

AND SO I HAVE SURRENDER MY LIVING ROOM TO A HOME STUDIO.

RAF, I THINK YOU HAVE AN INCREDIBLY COLLECTION OF BOOKS, BUT WHERE ARE YOU?

I'M IN THE STUDY OF MY APARTMENT.

AND, BOY, I HAVE GOTTEN A LOT OF COMMENTS, VIEWER COMMENTS AND TWITTER, ABOUT THE BOOKS.

I'M SURPRISED.

IT'S A LOT OF FUN.

LET ME READ YOU ONE.

THIS IS A FUNNY ONE.

THIS IS FROM TWITTER.

THIS IS FROM THE TWITTER FRIEND THAT SAID THERE ARE NOW 1.4 MILLION BOOKS TO READ FOR FREE IN THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY LIBRARY, AND ALL OF THEM ARE IN RAFAEL PI ROMAN'S APARTMENT.

THAT WAS ONE THAT GOT A LOT OF PLAY.

SOMEBODY SAID, HOW MANY BOOKS DO YOU HAVE?

I SAID I DON'T HAVE BOOKS, THE BOOKS HAVE ME.

BUT ONE DAY PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S BEHIND THERE, I WILL KEEP THEM IN SUSPENSE FOR A WHILE.

ONE OF THESE DAYS I WILL POINT THEM OUT.

GENERALLY YOU'VE GOT LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY HERE, AND A HODGEPODGE UP HERE.

IT'S AN IMPRESSIVE WALL, I'VE GOT TO SAY.

JACK, WHERE ARE YOU?

OKAY, SO WHERE I AM, AND I WILL EXPLAIN TO YOU WHY I'M IN THIS PARTICULAR SPOT.

THIS IS I GUESS YOU WOULD CALL IT THE LIVING ROOM, MORE FORMAL LIVING ROOM OF OUR HOUSE.

THERE'S A FIREPLACE OVER HERE AND YOU SEE BOOKSHELVES AND THINGS IN THE BACK.

ORIGINALLY I WAS GOING TO GO MORE OF A FAMILY ROOM, KIND OF A DEN THING, SORT OF WHERE RAF IS.

BUT THE REASON I'M IN THIS ROOM IS BECAUSE MY WIFE AND I ARE -- AND THIS HAS BEEN DELIGHTFUL FOR US, IT'S ONE OF THE RAYS OF SUNSHINE IN THE MIDST OF ALL THIS TURMOIL, OUR SON AND HIS WIFE, SUSIE, JUST HAD THEIR FIRST CHILD ABOUT THREE WEEKS AGO.

CONGRATULATIONS.

THANK YOU.

LITTLE BOY NATHANIAL FORD.

NOW THEY BOTH WORK IN NEW YORK CITY.

ALTHOUGH THEY HAVEN'T BEEN IN THE CITY FOR MORE THAN A MONTH.

THEY LIVE IN HOBOKEN, JUST ACROSS THE RIVER.

ONCE THE BABY WAS BORN, THEY WERE BACK IN THEIR PLACE IN HOBOKEN, BUT HOBOKEN IS LITERALLY SHUT DOWN.

THERE IS NO PLACE TO WALK THE BABY RIGHT ON THE RIVER.

THEY PLANNED TO WALK THE BABY ON THE RIVER, IT WILL BE SO NICE.

RIVERWALK IS SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY SO WE TALKED AND AGREED, COME DOWN HERE.

MOM AND I ARE HERE.

WE HAVE THE BIG OLD 100-YEAR-OLD HOUSE.

WE HAVEN'T DOWNSIZED JUST BECAUSE WE WANT THE KIDS TO COME BACK HERE WITH US.

SO WE GOT -- SET UP IN OTHER ROOMS, MY SON, WHO IS WORKING REMOTELY, WORKS AT CITI BANK.

SO HE'S GOT HIS MONITORS ALL SET UP.

AND I REALIZED THOSE ROOMS ARE SORT OF OPEN.

WE HAVE A 3 1/2-WEEK-OLD INFANT WITH US WHO DECIDES WHEN HE WANTS TO MAKE NOISE AND WHO DECIDES WHEN HE WANTS TO CRY.

SO I SAID WHERE I CAN BE?

THIS ROOM HAS BIG DOORS SET UP THAT I'M ABLE TO COME IN HERE, CLOSE UP ALL OF THE DOORS INTO THE ROOM, GET INTO A COMFORTABLE CHAIR AND REASONABLY CERTAIN THUS FAR MY CONVERSATIONS OR TAPED INTERVIEWS WILL NOT BE INTERRUPTED BY A 3-WEEK-OLD WHO DECIDED IT'S TIME FOR HIM TO BE FED AND HE'S GOING TO LET THE WORLD KNOW IT'S TIME FOR HIM TO BE FED.

SO THAT'S WHY I'M ENSCONCED IN THIS ROOM HERE.

AND, JENNA, YOU TALKED BEFORE ABOUT WE'RE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM HERE?

YEAH, IT'S KIND OF WEIRD.

INITIALLY, AGAIN, BECAUSE MY LIVING ROOM IS NOT A TELEVISION STUDIO, SO WHEN I WAS IN A PINCH THAT FIRST WEEK, I JUST PUT THE COMPUTER ON SOME BOOKS AND THEN THE COMPUTER BOOKS ON MY COFFEE TABLE.

OF COURSE, THAT MEANT I WAS SITTING ON THE FLOOR WITH MY COUCH BEHIND ME.

ONCE I HAD A CHANCE TO REGROUP, I WENT IN THE BASEMENT AND FOUND A TV TABLE TRAY AND MOVED EVERYTHING UP SO I LOOK A LITTLE MORE, I DON'T KNOW, NOT ON THE FLOOR.

SO IT LOOKS A LITTLE MORE PROFESSIONAL.

BUT ONE OF THE THINGS I REALIZE I MISS SO MUCH, ONE OF THEM IS HAVING A LIGHTING DIRECTOR.

EVEN THOUGH I'M IN MY LIVING ROOM.

IT WAS A GREAT SELLING POINT WHEN I FIRST SAW THE HOUSE AND I HAVE THESE GREAT BIG ATRIUM WINDOWS BUT WHEN I'M TRYING TO TAPE AND I NEED TO LIGHT MYSELF CORRECTLY, FIGHTING AGAINST NATURAL LIGHT, I DID NOT KNOW, THAT COULD BE PROBLEMATIC.

MY WIFE IS MY LIGHTING DIRECTOR.

BOY, SHE FIGURED IT ALL OUT.

BUT AFTER OUR FIRST INTERVIEW, THE FUSE BLEW.

SO NOW I TURN OFF EVERYTHING EXCEPT FOR THIS ROOM.

SO --

YOU'RE IN JERSEY, BECAUSE I'M IN THE HUDSON VALLEY.

RAF, WHERE ARE YOU?

I'M IN BROOKLYN, PROSPECT HEIGHTS.

SO THIS IS KIND OF PERFECT.

WE'VE GOT A TRIFECTA.

IS YEAH, WE DO.

WE GOT THE TRI-STATE AREA COVERED.

I DON'T KNOW, TALKING ABOUT SETUPS, YOU GUYS TALKING ABOUT LIGHTING AND, BE JENNA, YOU GAVE ME SOME TIPS WHEN WE WERE GETTING STARTED ABOUT SOME THINGS TO DO.

JENNA AND, RAF, JENNA SUGGESTED THE ONE LIGHT THAT IS USED -- SHE WAS SAYING BY SORT OF ENTERTAINMENT FOLKS --

CITY BLOGGERS.

THE BLOGGERS.

I DIDN'T GET AROUND TO GETTING THAT.

ALTHOUGH I MIGHT IF WE'RE GOING TO BE HERE FOR A LONGER TIME, I MIGHT GET THAT.

BUT HERE'S WHAT HAS BEEN MOST PROBLEMATIC FOR ME, NOT NECESSARILY THE LIGHTING OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, IT'S TRACKING TIME FOR THE INTERVIEWS.

SO WE'RE -- LOOK, IT'S TELEVISION.

WE HAVE A FINITE PORTION OF TIME FOR OUR SHOWS.

I KNOW THAT THE CONSTANT TENSION, YOU KNOW, AMONGST THE HOST DOING THE INTERVIEW AND THE PRODUCER GETTING THE SHOW ON IS ALWAYS, OKAY, YOU'VE GOT 12 MINUTES TO DO THIS.

AND IN OUR MINDS, THE JOKE HAS ALWAYS BEEN, I HAVE SAID THIS TO THE PRODUCERS, WELL, TIME CUES FOR US ARE MERELY ADVISORIES.

EXCEPT WHEN THEY'RE NOT.

BECAUSE RIGHT NOW --

NOT NOW.

RIGHT NOW OUR VIEWERS SHOULD KNOW WE DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO EDIT THAT WE DO ORDINARILY.

WE COULD RUN AN 18-MINUTE INTERVIEW AND IT COULD BE EDITED DOWN TO 12 MINUTES.

SO NOW WE'RE LOCKED IN TO BASICALLY HERE'S THE TIME YOU'VE GOT.

YOU'VE GOT TO KEEP THAT INTERVIEW REALLY CLOSE TO THAT TIME.

FIRST TWO TIMES I WENT ON, I HAD A -- BOTH TIMES I GOT MY PHONE LIKE THIS.

WHAT I DID IS -- AND I'VE DONE IT WITH THIS, A STOPWATCH.

THAT SOUNDS GREAT EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT BOTH TIMES I FORGOT TO HIT THE START BUTTON.

ME TOO!

I REALIZED WHEN I WAS HALFWAY THROUGH THE INTERVIEW, I LOOKED DOWN AN MY STOPWATCH AND SAW, HUH, IT'S STILL ON ZERO.

THAT'S GOING TO BE A PROBLEM TO TIME THIS OUT NOW.

SO WHAT I HAVE BEEN WRESTLING WITH, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU GUYS, BUT THAT TO ME HAS BEEN A SIGNIFICANT HURDLE FOR ME ABOUT DOING THIS AT HOME, IS MAKING SURE WE CAN GET IT TO TIME.

NO, NO.

AND MORE OR LESS, WHEN YOU SAY MORE OR LESS A TIME, THAT MEANS TEN SECONDS, A LITTLE UNDER TEN SECONDS OVER.

THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE.

THAT'S SOMETHING WE NEVER HAVE DONE BEFORE.

YES.

THAT'S THE HARDEST PART BECAUSE WHEN YOU START HITTING FOUR, THREE MINUTES BEFORE, MAYBE A LITTLE BEFORE THAT, THEN THAT'S ON YOUR MIND AND THAT KIND OF TAKES YOU AWAY.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

WE'RE A ONE-PERSON BAND HERE, SO WE DO IT.

SO FAR, SO GOOD.

I HAVE TO REDO INTERVIEWS FOR OTHER REASONS, BUT LUCKILY NEVER FOR THAT.

I WOULD SAY LIKE FOR THE TIMING THING, THE HARDEST THING FOR ME IS, I'M USED TO, I WILL TELL A GUEST, OKAY, WE'RE COMING TO THE HEED OF OUR INTERVIEW, ET CETERA, ET CETERA.

AND THEY MIGHT HAVE AN EXTRA THOUGHT THEY DIDN'T REALIZE THEY WERE HOLDING ON TO.

NOW I HAVE TO BE LIKE, SORRY, SENDING THE CONVERSATION.

AND THAT'S AWKWARD, ESPECIALLY WHEN SOMEBODY HAS THIS IMPASSIONED POINT THEY WANT TO MAKE.

SORRY.

YOU DON'T WANT TO CUT THEM UP.

YOU KNOW WHAT I STARTED DOING, I STARTED SAYING WHEN I'M TALKING TO OUR GUESTS BEFOREHAND, I SAY LOOK, WE'RE ON A HARD TIME HERE SO WHEN I GET TO THE END, I WILL SAY TO YOU, LAST QUESTION FOR YOU.

AND I SAID TO ONE, WHEN YOU HEAR ME SAY THAT, CAN YOU DO LIKE A MINUTE, MINUTE AND A HALF KIND OF THING?

NOW THAT'S FINE FOR US.

WE HAVE A CLOCK IN OUR MIND.

WE DO THIS FOR A LIVING.

BUT A LOT OF OUR GUESTS DON'T.

EVEN WHEN YOU DO THAT, THEY MIGHT THINK THEY'RE BEING VERY TIGHT IN THEIR RESPONSE BUT FOR THEM A TIGHT RESPONSE MIGHT BE THREE MINUTES AS OPPOSED TO A MINUTE AND A HALF KIND OF THING.

THAT, AS I SAID BEFORE, THAT'S THE HURLDLE I'M TRYING TO GET OVER.

IMM'M MUCH MORE DIRECT.

WHEN I TELL YOU IT'S 30 SECONDS TO GO, IT'S 30 SECONDS TO GO.

AND 30 SECONDS ARE LIKE THIS.

AND TIME IT OUT, 1330 SECONDS GS LIKE THIS.

THAT'S A VERY GOOD IDEA.

YOU'RE NOT JUST ANOTHER PRETTY FACE, RAF!

YEAH.

IT'S SO WEIRD.

SO WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST, BESIDES ALL OF THE STUFF WE TALKED ABOUT, WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT THE STUDIO?

SHOOTING IN THE STUDIO?

BESIDES WHAT YOU SAID, JACK, THE ABILITY TO FIND CAMARADERIE WITH THE GUESTS.

YOU KNOW, IT'S THAT WITH THE GUESTS AND THIS IS GOING TO SOUND LIKE IT'S KIND OF A SENSE OF -- KIND OF CLAPPING OURSELVES ON THE BACK TO SOME EXCEPT BUT THE FOLKS AT 'METROFOCUS,' WE DO A LOT ON A VERY LIMITED BUDGET.

EXTRAOR EXTRAORDINARILY LIMITED BUDGET.

WE'VE ALL WORKED IN TELEVISION IN VARIOUS PLACES UNDER VARIOUS BUDGETS.

I HAVE WORKED AT PLACES THEY HAVE UNLIMITED BUDGETS AND GO OUT AND EXCEED THEM ANYWAY.

BUT HERE, YOU KNOW, I WOULD SAY THIS, WE DO GREAT WORK, IMPORTANT WORK, VERY LIMITED BUDGETS AND WHAT HAS ALWAYS ASTONISHED ME IS EVEN GIVEN THOSE RESTRICTIONS, THE PEOPLE THAT WE WORK WITH ARE JUST FABULOUS.

YOU KNOW, THEY'RE DEDICATED AND THEY'RE PASSIONATE AND THEY'RE TALENTED AND THEY'RE ABLE TO TAKE THINGS AND COBBLE TOGETHER SOMETHING THAT LOOKS LIKE IT'S BEING DONE ON AN UNLIMITED BUDGET WHEN BARELY DONE ON A SHOE STRING.

SO IT'S THE PEOPLE.

WE'RE IN THIS BUSINESS BECAUSE WE'RE JOURNALISTS, WE DEAL WITH PEOPLE.

THAT'S WHAT WE DO.

YEAH.

WE HAVE PEOPLE IN FRONT OF US.

BUT WE'RE THE FOCAL POINT.

EVERYTHING FUNNELS INTO US ON A BROADCAST AND COMES THROUGH US.

BUT BEHIND US, LITERALLY AND FIGURATIVELY, THERE ARE DOZENS OF PEOPLE WORKING.

AND WE HAVE MARVELOUS PEOPLE WHERE WE WORK.

NOT ALWAYS THE CASE, BUT IN SOME CASE IT IS.

I WILL SAY WITH PBS, YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST SO DEDICATED.

AND HAVING A GOOD TIME.

RIGHT, JENNA?

YEAH, IT'S TOTALLY LIKE THAT.

AND I THINK MAYBE BECAUSE OF JUST THE CALLING OF SOMETHING LIKE PUBLIC MEDIA, YOU GET JUST A DIFFERENT GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ANSWER THE CALL, FOR LACK OF A BETTER DESCRIPTION.

SO I DEFINITELY, GOD, I MISS BEING ABLE TO INTERACT WITH THE THE STAFF ON HAND.

EVERYBODY WHO WORKS AT THE ACTUAL STUDIO, BE IT STAR STUDIO OR LINCOLN CENTER.

ALTHOUGH I HAVE ENJOYED FACETIME CALLING PEOPLE JUST SO I CAN SEE WHERE THEY ARE.

BUT I MISS THAT SO MUCH.

I GUESS I'M JUST REPEATING A LOT OF WHAT YOU GUYS SAID BUT THIS, OF COURSE, IS A TEAM SPORT, RIGHT?

TOTALLY.

WE'RE THE ONES PUT ON THE CAMERA BUT THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO PARTICIPATE IN WHAT WE DO.

WE GOT TO -- WE KIND OF FORGET BECAUSE IN THE OLD -- IN OUR USUAL WAY, WE ALL DO OUR ONE JOB AND THEN WE TEND TO FORGET THAT THIS IS -- OTHER PEOPLE ARE SETTING THIS UP.

DOING IT AS WE'RE DOING IT NOW MAKES IT EVEN MORE EVIDENT WHAT A TEAM SPORT THIS IS.

AND JACK, TO REPEAT WHAT YOU SAID, WHAT A GREAT TEAM WE HAVE.

I KNOW THEY WON'T LIKE IT BUT I'M GOING TO MENTION NAMES.

CHRISTINA TIMOTHY, DOMINIC COMUIA, GREG KILLINGLAW.

ALL OF THEM.

THESE GUYS ARE UNBELIEVABLE.

AND WITHOUT THEM THIS WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE.

AND THE AFOREMENTIONED GUARDIAN ANGEL, SASHA SCHECKTER, WHO NOT ONLY HELPS US OUT -- I'M A PROUD GUY.

I DON'T LIKE TO SHOW PEOPLE WHAT I DON'T KNOW.

THAT'S THE WORST THING.

I WOULD RATHER CUT MY ARM OFF THAN ASK FOR HELP.

BUT IT WAS INEVITABLE.

SASHA SCHECKTER SAID THIS TO ME WHEN SHE SAW I WAS SO EMBARRASSED.

SHE SAID, RAF, AT TIMES LIKE THIS WE HAVE TO WORK A LITTLE HARDER TO BE MORE PATIENT WITH PEOPLE -- WITH EACH OTHER BECAUSE OTHERWISE WE CAN'T DO IT.

OH, BOY, IS THAT A LESSON I HOPE I NEVER FORGOT.

WE GO BACK AND IT'S EASY AGAIN, I HOPE I NEVER FORGOT.

THAT'S TRUE FOR ALWAYS.

I AGREE WITH THAT 100%.

AND THE TAG LINE FOR SASHA AND PUTTING THIS TOGETHER.

SASHA HAD TO WALK ME THROUGH EVERYTHING, JUST AS YOU.

I HAVE BEEN IN TELEVISION 30-SOME YEARS AND I STILL DON'T KNOW HOW TELEVISION WORKS.

ALL I KNOW THE RED LIGHT GOES ON, AND I START TO TALK.

TAKES ME THROUGH ALL OF THIS.

SUBSEQUENTLY, A COUPLE DAYS LATER HI I HAD TO DO ANOTHER ZOOM INTERVIEW AS WE'RE DOING NOW AND I WALKED THEM THROUGH SETTING THE WHOLE THING UP.

WE FINISHED THIS CONVERSATION AND WE SAID WE'RE SO HAPPY WE HAVE YOU, SO TECHNOLOGICALLY SAVVY.

AND I SAID THAT'S RIGHT, THANKS, GUYS.

I APPRECIATE IT.

GOT OFF THE PHONE, I CALLED SASHA IMMEDIATELY.

I SAID SASHA, YOU'RE A GENIUS.

YOU MADE ME SOUND LIKE I KNEW WHAT WAS I WAS TALKING ABOUT WHEN I PARROTED THE STEPS YOU GAVE ME.

SO TO THEM AND OUR COLLEAGUE JENNA, WHO IS A BIT OF A BABY COMPARED TO US, THAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF INDEED LEARNING SOME NEW TRICKS.

ALTHOUGH IT JUST TAKES US A LITTLE BIT LONGER I THINK TO LEARN NEW TRICKS.

JENNA, HOW MUCH TIME DO WE HAVE LEFT?

I WAS ABOUT TO MENTION THE TIME.

WE ARE COMING UP ON LITERALLY 1:20 LEFT.

SO I GUESS MY THING I WANT TO KNOW IS HAVE YOU FOUND A WORKFLOW?

HAVE YOU FOUND A WAY TO MAKE THIS WORK?

I DID, BECAUSE WHAT ELSE COULD WE DO?

I THINK WHEN YOU SAY COMPARED -- WE HAVE OUR GROCERIES DELIVERED AT 5:00 IN THE MORNING, I SEE THESE PEOPLE DELIVERING GROCERIES TO US.

YOUNG WOMEN, YOUNG MEN.

I SAY, BOY, WHAT I -- I CAN'T COMPLAIN COMPARED TO WHAT THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH.

BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS, YOU ASKED -- WHEN YOU SEND US A NOTE,ING WHAT IS IT THAT WE REALIZE WE HAVE TAKEN FOR GRANTED BECAUSE OF THIS EXPERIENCE?

I HAVE TAKEN EVERYTHING FOR GRANTED BEFORE THIS EXPERIENCE.

WALKING DOWN THE STREET WITHOUT WORRYING WHAT YOU BREATHE, GETTING INTO THE SUBWAY WITH PEOPLE NOT SIX FEET AWAY, THAT IS SO WONDERFUL.

THAT'S HEAVEN.

AND I CAN'T WAIT TO GET BACK TO THE THINGS THAT I NEVER GAVE A THOUGHT ABOUT HOW WONDERFUL THEY WERE.

RAF, JACK AND I THANK YOU FOR SHARING OUR VERY PERSONAL CONVERSATION ABOUT REPORTING DURING THIS CRISIS.

FOR MORE 'METROFOCUS' STORIES, VISIT OUR WEBSITE, FACEBOOK AND TWITTER.

WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE ABIY -- JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY -- 'METROFOCUS' IS MADE POSSIBLE BY -- JAMES AND MERRYL TISCH, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, THE SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT ANTI-SEMITISM.

BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ, ROSALIND P. WALTER, BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG, AND BY --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019