Radio & Television News Association

Friday, February 24, 2006

Anchors' Desks Rate Foulest On Germ Test

Anchors' Desks Rate Foulest On Germ Test

It wasn't nearly as gross as "Hidden Hotel Horrors," Dave Savini's infamous black-light investigation of hotel bed sheets, but WBBM did a little undercover germ snooping around its own newsroom last week. Of all the surfaces tested by medical editor Mary Ann Childers, the highest bacteria counts were found on the desks of Diann Burns and Antonio Mora, top news anchors at the CBS-owned station.

But that's no cause for alarm, according to the University of Arizona professor of environmental microbiology who analyzed the samples for Childers' sweeps piece.

"Even though Antonio and Diann had the highest numbers of bacteria in the studio, they were still low compared to most professions," said Dr. Charles Gerba, whose research showed the work environments of teachers, accountants and bankers as the worst germ-wise. "They [Mora and Burns] were on the real low end for most TV studios, so they should congratulate themselves. . . . Generally, in the studio in Chicago, we found low numbers of bacteria all around."

The cleanest spot in the WBBM newsroom, Childers reported, was the assignment desk.


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