April 13, 2012
After four tough years, these are heady days in the world of Maryland TV and film production. Last month, "Game Change," the Baltimore-made HBO docudrama on the 2008 presidential election, premiered to strong reviews and even stronger debate. This week, "House of Cards," the $100 million Netflix political drama starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, starts filming after three months and millions of dollars spent in pre-production on sets in Harford County and Baltimore. And next Sunday, "VEEP," starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and filmed in Columbia, debuts on HBO. But all the jobs, money and excitement that Hollywood has brought to Maryland during the last year in could soon disappear amid all the finger-pointing and blame-gaming over the budget impasse in Annapolis.
March 17, 2012
It isn't often that I find myself agreeing with columnist Dan Rodricks , but his idea of more really local TV and less redundant reporting is one I've had myself ("Let's put more 'local' in local TV," March 11). Why not add even more topics to his list? How about a 30-minute spotlight on local historical sites, of which our area has literally hundreds. Or a scenic cruise segment, for which, again, there are many candidates in our region? You could ask for viewers' home video input.
March 11, 2012
The head of Sinclair Broadcast Group has a definite idea about television's future: It will be a mobile medium. And he doesn't need industry research to tell him so. David D. Smith, president and chief executive of the Hunt Valley-based broadcaster, recalls an experiment he conducted during a trade show: He set a portable TV down in a bar and then watched as people gathered around, asking where they could get one. "People who say they won't...
August 27, 2011
All of Baltimore's TV stations deserve some credit for trying to provide area residents with the information needed Saturday to make sound decisions about how to best to deal withHurricane Irene. But once again, there were two tiers of coverage, and, as usual, the top one belonged to WJZ and WBAL, and the other to WBFF and WMAR. The latter two rarely make the same commitment to major stories as WJZ and WBAL. And I have to say, WJZ really went all out on Irene, getting on the air first and staying straight on without any breaks since at least 2:30 p.m. Saturday, according to my viewing log. Much praise to Denise Koch and Adam May who stayed strong from 2:30 to 9:10 p.m at the anchor desk.
February 2, 2011
Dr. Anna Marie Chwastiak has returned to Baltimore TV after a nine-year hiatus — switching channels, dropping her surname and presenting her syndicated show on WBAL's digital channel. The former WMAR health reporter, whose news beat focused on the area's medical institutions, has turned executive producer and host of "Your Life with Dr. Anna Marie," a half-hour show in which she offers advice and tips on subjects like exercise, relaxation and maintaining a healthful diet.
January 14, 2011
TV news has mostly been defined by downward trends the past decade. Shrinking audience. Aging audience. Fragmented audience. But there's been one very bright spot amid the economic and ratings gloom for stations in Baltimore and across the country — the morning news. Mirroring the success of network shows like "The Today Show," and "Good Morning America," local morning news programs are steadily expanding airtime, staff and revenue. Now, some local morning news shows are bringing in more money than the late newscasts — once the cash cows for stations.