Coming to you live in sweatpants and slippers

Fully Charged
Bloomberg

Hi friends, it's Emily Chang, your Bloomberg Technology anchor who's six months into hosting a live daily show from home, with four kids and remote school. This has been the most frustrating, challenging, but also rewarding time. I want it to end immediately and go on forever. Where do I start?

The pandemic has upended television production as we know it, taking swathes of shows off the air indefinitely, forcing hosts to beam in from living room studios and raising the stakes for working from home. Like many working parents, I know there's nothing more ominous than the soft "tap, tap, tap" of a small child on the door in the middle of an important call or presentation. But for me, there's the added anxiety that it's happening during live television, and maybe in an interview with Bill Gates or Sheryl Sandberg.

Once, I didn't respond to the "tap, tap, tapping" for so long that my son slipped a note beneath the door that read "Mommy, the Reading Zoom won't start." At the time, I happened to be speaking with Zoom Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan and kindly asked him if he could help.

I've been hosting the show live from my home since California's shelter-in-place order went into effect on March 17. That first day, our managing editor Danielle set up the shot with some egg crates and a barstool from my kitchen. I've been doing this job long enough that I don't get nervous that often anymore. That day, I was terrified.

But it worked, and luckily we've avoided an on-air disaster thus far. I've hid in closets to do radio hits and lugged my camera to a remote mountain vacation to cover the re-opening of Disneyworld. But there have been some close calls. Last week, my nanny had a well-deserved day off and my husband had to rush our daughter to the doctor for a possible eye and ear infection just as the show was starting. The very minute I wanted to crumble, my producer Candy called and picked up some final show prep. Then I put my 3-year-old son down for a nap at 1:45 p.m. and prayed he wouldn't wake up until the show was over at 3:00, arming myself with an iPad set up with Paw Patrol and a stick of chewing gum in case he came barging in. Thank goodness, he woke up at 3:05.

Every week brings a new challenge. This week it's air quality, rolling blackouts and a planned power outage to replace a transformer on our street. My studio manager Mallory, who's been coming to my home (masked) every day since the pandemic started, has managed to get the entire show running on batteries—including the lights, the camera, a satellite backpack, internet via a cellphone hot spot, etc. Should that fail, my husband has dusted off the generator that we bought last fire season.

Each day we've made it on air thanks to incredible colleagues on both coasts, my heroic nanny and the everlasting patience of my husband and my children. Over the course of the daily show and on my long-form interview series Studio 1.0, we've asked Bill Gates about the vaccines he's most optimistic about, interviewed Francoise Brougher about why she's suing Pinterest for gender discrimination and debuted a special program called "Black Leadership Matters."

There's a new kind of satisfaction in pulling this off. And a new kind of reward in turning the camera off and stepping into my living room where I can hug my kids immediately. I'm feeling grateful every day—that I'm able to do my job from home, that my family is safe and healthy, that I've been able to keep breastfeeding my daughter and don't have to "go to work" on her first birthday.

Of course there are wrinkles: Occasionally, I forget to put my TV makeup on until way too late and I have perfected the rush curling iron and lipstick job. But sometimes, I feel a pang of sadness at the thought of this all being over. It's a precarious time, but with silver linings, too.

One secret: On the bottom, I'm almost always wearing sweatpants and slippers. Emily Chang

If you read one thing

In a strange, sad new emblem of our economic predicament, some Amazon workers have taken to hanging cell phones from trees outside delivery stations and Whole Foods stores in Chicago. The stunt may help drivers get a jump on fiercely competitive courier jobs, reports Bloomberg's Spencer Soper

And here's what you need to know in global technology news

Demand for iPhones appears to be holding up: Apple has told suppliers to build 75 million 5G iPhones for later this year, roughly in line with last year's new phone launch.  

President Donald Trump is insisting on payment in a deal to sell TikTok ahead of a threat to ban the app, telling reporters: "I said the United States has to be compensated, well compensated."

Dozens of fake accounts on Facebook are posing as 2020 political candidates, raising fears that the accounts are laying the groundwork for election interference. 

On Tuesday, Amazon's Whole Foods opened a delivery-only store in Brooklyn. 

 

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