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NEWS
January 18, 1992
One of the great misfires of the Reagan deregulation effort was unleashing the might of the cable television industry on unsuspecting and unprotected consumers. Rates for basic service have soared since the passage of the Cable Television Act of 1984, which stripped local governments of the power to control cable rates.In Montgomery County, rates have skyrocketed 1,394 percent for a similar channel offering since the law took effect in 1986. In Baltimore County, rates have risen as much as 105 percent; in Howard rates have jumped 86 percent; rates in Annapolis have increased more than 70 percent.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 29, 2014
I took a deep dive last week into Baltimore's drug scene. And when I finally came up for air, I had a newfound clarity on the city's troubled TV image and the line between responsible documentary filmmaking and exploitative reality television. Online Monday, I previewed a National Geographic Channel program that depicted Baltimore as a drug-infested wasteland of vacant rowhouses and lost lives. It's titled “Drugs, Inc.: The High Wire,”and if you missed it last week, you can see it again this week at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
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NEWS
September 19, 1992
The battle now reaching a climax in Congress over re-regulating the cable television industry is a classic example of a bill intended to aid consumers that has almost been submerged by interest groups fighting each other for competitive advantages.The bill started as a consumer protection measure. Congress lifted controls on cable TV operations in 1984. Charges promptly skyrocketed in many areas. Often service quality dipped almost as quickly. The cable TV operators gained a reputation for concentrating on expansion and amalgamation but neglecting their captive audiences.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2014
All the TV stations in Baltimore say they're the ones to turn to for breaking news. Coverage of a shooting Saturday morning at the Mall in Columbia that left three dead put those promises to the test in a major way. Not everyone passed. The local stations that got there first with the most resources were WJZ (Channel 13) and WBAL (Channel 11), which were on the air shortly after 12:30 p.m. WMAR-TV was on-air with live coverage shortly after 1 p.m, but WBFF (Channel 45) didn't offer viewers anything except syndicated programming, infomercials and auto racing until 2:30 p.m. And then, it provided only 30 minutes of coverage before returning to Fox network NASCAR coverage.
NEWS
By New York Times News Service | December 20, 1993
WASHINGTON -- The Clinton administration is poised to make broad changes in communications policy and will give its support this week to legislation that would break down the legal barriers that currently separate the telephone and cable television industries.Tomorrow, Vice President Al Gore plans to give the first of two major speeches outlining this and other principles in the administration's plan for a "national information infrastructure."Broadly, Mr. Gore will support bills now pending in Congress permitting greater competition between the cable and telephone industries as well as moves to relax restrictions that bar local telephone companies from competing in the business of providing long-distance service.
BUSINESS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Staff Writer | November 17, 1993
After months of complaining that the cable television operators have been getting away with murder in their pricing policies, the industry's critics in Congress have been handed what they call a "smoking gun."In a memo in August, a top executive of Tele-Communications Inc. told local managers to ignore customers' objections and jack up rates on various cable television services before a new cable TV regulation law went into effect."The best news of all is we can blame it on the government now. Let's take advantage of it!"
BUSINESS
By Chicago Tribune | April 17, 1991
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a financial blow to the pay-TV industry, ruling that states and cities do not violate the First Amendment when they tax cable television but exempt print media.Voting 7-2, the justices yesterday upheld an Arkansas tax that, by one estimate, means more than $4 million a year for state coffers from cable TV services.The court said the tax, which applies to a variety of services, from utilities to concert tickets, is constitutional because it is not based on the content of cable programming and does not burden only a small group of taxpayers.
NEWS
September 2, 1994
Jones Intercable Inc. is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who have been vandalizing the company's cable television equipment in Severn and the Maryland City/Laurel area.Nine incidents of vandalism have been reported to county police since Aug. 24.Jones Intercable repair crews have restored television service to all affected areas.The vandalism incidents included interruption of DC power supply in cable-television amplifiers, removal or damage of tap plates, which hook up individual homes with the main cable television line, and damaging other amplifier equipment.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | December 18, 1992
WASHINGTON -- The accelerating turf war between cable television and telephone moved into the courtroom yesterday, as Bell Atlantic Corp. filed a suit charging that its right to free speech was violated by a law that blocks telephone companies from owning cable television programming.Bell Atlantic, which owns local telephone companies throughout the mid-Atlantic region, has been the most aggressive of the seven regional Bell companies in seeking to compete head-to-head with cable television companies.
BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | December 18, 1992
WASHINGTON -- The turf war between cable television and telephone moved into the courtroom yesterday, as Bell Atlantic Corp. filed a suit charging that its right to free speech was violated by a law that blocks phone companies from owning cable-TV programming.Bell Atlantic, which owns local telephone companies throughout the mid-Atlantic region, has been the most aggressive of the seven regional Bell companies in seeking to compete head-to-head with cable television companies.Under current law, telephone companies are allowed to provide television programming over their networks, but are not allowed to own such services.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2013
And so, the inevitable has finally become the official with the announcement from Fox News today that Dr. Ben Carson, the Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon turned conservative pundit, has become a paid contributor. Carson "is a brilliant neurosurgeon who has dedicated his life to healing others," Fox chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said in a statement. "He also has a broad perspective on what's going on in the country and his wisdom and provocative viewpoints will make a major contribution to our network.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | September 19, 2013
I will leave it to The Sun's political reporters to write about who "won" or "lost" this cooked-up and dumbed-down TV cartoon of a debate between Gov. Martin O'Malley and his Texas counterpart Rick Perry Wednesday on CNN's "Crossfire. " I am only here to say how sad I am to see Maryland's Democratic governor and our political discourse bent to fit the phony dictates of cable TV this way. When comedian Jon Stewart famously denounced the "Crossfire" format in 2004, he called the two hosts that night, Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, "partisan hacks.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | July 30, 2013
Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. plans to create a new cable television news channel with a blend of local and national programming and bring it to cities across the United States over the next couple of years, CEO David Smith said Tuesday. Smith expanded on his vision for a hybrid local/national network a day after the Hunt Valley broadcaster announced its largest acquisition to date: the purchase of eight television stations for nearly $1 billion, including NewsChannel 8, a 24-hour cable/satellite all-news network that covers the Washington metro area.
NEWS
By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | July 8, 2013
Anne Arundel Community TV will premiere "Senior Centers in Action" at noon on Tuesday. The program will be a monthly show highlighting activities at the seven county-run senior centers, according to the county's Department of Aging and Disabilities. The first episode will focus on a crab feast, volunteer appreciation breakfast, Canine Companions for Independence and the "Not-So-Newlywed Game. " The show will repeat at noon daily and at 7 p.m. on Tuesdays through Sundays. Anne Arundel County TV is found on Comcast Channel 98 and Verizon Channel 38.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Richard Gorelick,
The Baltimore Sun
| April 24, 2013
Watch Four Seasons Baltimore executive pastrychef Chris Ford in the final and concluding episode of the Chicago Restaurant Pastry Competition, a web-based video series. Ford competed against three other chefs in the competition, a single-day event where finalists are asked to make eight servings of an original, creative, plated dessert. The chefs also competed in a mystery challenge where they were asked to create an inventive, molded gelato. This was the second year for the competition and web series, which focused on Chicago-based chefs the first year.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | March 29, 2013
Dr. Ben Carson got a tough lesson in the past week on how quickly the angry and divisive world of cable TV can chew you up. The 61-year-old Baltimore County resident has been in the media spotlight as a darling of the right since early February, when he addressed the National Prayer Breakfast with what some interpreted as a lecture to President Barack Obama. But last week, Carson's TV image and the discussion about him shifted dramatically - for the worse. He became engaged in a TV discussion on race that included back-and-forth name calling - and he offered a critique on same-sex marriage that included such extreme rhetoric that he now has Johns Hopkins colleagues calling him out and medical students petitioning to have him removed as a graduation speaker in May. Most of it played out before millions on highly partisan Fox News, where he has recently been treated like a member of the home team.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Sun Staff Writer | July 14, 1994
The Cable Act of 1992 has reduced cable television prices for consumers nationwide -- but not in Baltimore -- according to a report expected to be released today by the Federal Communications Commission.Despite two rounds of nationwide cable rate cuts ordered by the FCC, United Artists Cable of Baltimore has posted a $4 increase in the typical consumer's monthly bill since last August. That was the highest among 43 U.S. cable systems surveyed by the FCC. Of those 43, all but six showed decreases or no change, according to the report.
NEWS
By Johnathon E. Briggs and Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF | September 10, 2003
City election returns and a live cable television broadcast of a presidential debate in Baltimore fell victim last night to a failure of the Comcast Cable television system affecting many would-be viewers. Comcast customers in two city ZIP codes discovered only 'snow' on their screens if they tried to tune to any Comcast channel - including the debate among Democratic presidential candidates at Morgan State University broadcast by the Fox cable network, and results of the municipal primaries.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2012
The sorry tableau of two replacement referees standing side by side in the end zone making opposite calls on a controversial play at the end of ESPN's "Monday Night Football" led to the largest audience on record for the post-game SportsCenter show. That image of those two hopeless referees making the opposite call on a contested reception will long serve as the symbol of what has happened to the game in this labor dispute between the real referees and owners. But the ratings for the games, compromised as they might be by utterly inept officiating, just keep going up. Sunday's contest between the Ravens and the New England Patriots was seen by 21.3 million viewers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2012
UPDATES with reaction to the film from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's office... Using digitalmedia once again to end run the cable TV industry, Al Jazeera English posted its latest documentary, "Baltimore: Anatomy of an American City," online Tuesday morning. The film will premiere on the channel at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, with multiple plays throughout the week. I believe it's outrageous that cable TV operators have kept the channel off its systems in cities like Baltimore, despite stellar coverage of major stories in the Middle East and endorsements ranging from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the leading academic experts and authors on global media.
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