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NEWS
August 4, 2010
Peter Hermann's column ("Nothing new about fear-of-crime complaints," Aug. 4) should come as no surprise to anyone with a modicum of discernment who watches local TV news (which I do not). Fear is their stock in trade. None of the local outlets believe their role is to inform and educate. Their sole purpose is to sell eyeballs to advertisers and they have all embraced the adage "if it bleeds, it leads." This is also why they go to full coverage at the threat of two snowflakes. Unfortunately, TV is where the majority of Marylanders get their news and they rarely question it. I live in Baltimore County and know many people who will not venture into the city for any reason.
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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.
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NEWS
By David Zurawik | February 7, 2010
It's a weekend of air mattresses, sleeping bags, couches, pets and even some kids in TV newsrooms as Baltimore's network-owned and affiliate stations went to "all hands on deck" to try to cover one of the area's biggest storms in decades. "Covering a storm like this is energizing and frustrating at the same time," Michelle Butt, news director at WBAL-TV, said Saturday morning. "When you have a storm like this, it takes a toll on your equipment and your people. Things break, people get stuck out in worsening conditions, and you worry for your staff's safety.
NEWS
October 20, 2013
I remember Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown appearing on local TV after recieving our federal tax dollars talking about hiring new government employees to implement Obamacare and how Maryland would be the benchmark for other states. Look how badly Maryland has done (" Maryland 'stumbled out of the gate' with health exchanges, Brown says," Oct. 16) I hope Maryland voters remember at election time. J. Heming, Baltimore
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | June 3, 1991
Baltimore viewers are crazy about WJZ-TV (Channel 13) newscasts and Oprah Winfrey. But they aren't much interested these days in Johnny Carson, and they are not watching the Orioles as much as they were last year.Those are some of the messages from advance ratings for the May "sweeps" audience measurement surveys, which are taken by Nielsen and Arbitron and used to set advertising rates through next summer.With a newscast debuting tonight on WBFF-TV (Channel 45), most eyes in the local TV industry are on the news ratings at the network affiliates -- WMAR-TV (Channel 2)
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | April 3, 1993
Local TV will take a giant step forward in social responsibility tomorrow night when WBAL (Channel 11) presents "Martin Luther King Jr.: The March to Freedom" at 8.As an indication of Channel 11's commitment to the one-hour special, the station will pre-empt "Murder She Wrote," one of the most highly rated shows on CBS, to ensure a showcase for "The March to Freedom," after "60 Minutes.""Murder She Wrote" will not be rescheduled.For many TV stations, scheduling a locally produced news and public affairs special in prime time after a show like "60 Minutes" could be disastrous.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and Chris Kaltenbach and David Zurawik and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN REPORTERS | April 3, 2008
For decades, local TV stations in cities like Baltimore were cash cows for the companies that owned them. Even though one or two stations with the most popular anchors often came to dominate each market, everybody made money. Local TV was that surefire a business - even for last-place and poorly managed stations. But not today. More and more, the dominant story line for local TV news is one filled with talk of cutbacks, layoffs, lowered expectations and an urgent need to find new ways of doing business and winning viewers.
FEATURES
By DAVID ZURAWIK and DAVID ZURAWIK,SUN TV CRITIC | March 23, 2000
An enormous audience, life-and-death drama and tremendous competitive pressure for live reports made the Joseph Palczynski hostage drama one of the biggest television news stories in Baltimore history. And, while broadcast executives said repeatedly that they were being extremely cautious in their coverage, TV news -- especially WBAL-TV (Channel 11) and WJZ-TV (Channel 13) -- became a large part of that story. Ultimately, the hostages came out safely. But in the name of exclusives and wall-to-wall live coverage, risks were taken and reporters were put in situations that could have been disastrous.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | March 5, 1999
Local television newscasts in Baltimore and Philadelphia grossly over-report and exaggerate murder and other violent crimes, leaving viewers feeling frightened, helpless and often uninformed about real dangers, according to a new study published by the University of Delaware.Furthermore, Baltimore newscasts routinely depict violence as a "social menace relentlessly creeping into the suburbs" -- although crime statistics in no way support that analysis, says the study, "Crime, Community & Local TV News: Covering Crime in Philadelphia and Baltimore."
BUSINESS
By David Zurawik and Joe Burris and David Zurawik and Joe Burris,Sun reporters | February 8, 2008
Traditionally, presidential candidates have spent little or no money on local TV advertising in advance of the Maryland primaries. By the time the day of voting arrived, there was usually little drama left. But in this year that is unlike any other in the history of national politics, the money is starting to flow to area TV stations - and in ways that it has never flowed before. Democratic candidate Barack Obama reserved advertising time in Baltimore before Super Tuesday, while representatives for Hillary Clinton started making her buys over the weekend.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2012
HBO renewed its two new Sunday-night comedies 'VEEP' and "Girls' for a second season, and that's great news for the Baltimore TV and film production community. HBO made the announcement Monday afternoon via Twitter: "We're happy to announce #Veep and #Girls have both been picked up for a second season. @GirlsHBO. " The second season order on "VEEP" is for 10 episodes, which should mean about $15 million to the local economy.   I predicted an announcement within days after seeing the premiere week ratings for "VEEP.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | 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.
NEWS
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.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | 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...
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | 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.
HEALTH
By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun | 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.
NEWS
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | March 16, 1997
Paul Klite came to Baltimore not to praise television news, but to skewer it as responsible for a host of society's ills and to recommend that pretty much the whole thing be scuttled and rebuilt to reflect a more wholesome and more studious society.Klite, a media watchdog based in Denver, spoke to a crowd of about 35 at UMBC Wednesday night. His organization, Rocky Mountain Media Watch, contends that local TV news spends too much time on violence (or "mayhem," as he terms it, which encompasses murder, war and disasters)
NEWS
October 20, 2013
I remember Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown appearing on local TV after recieving our federal tax dollars talking about hiring new government employees to implement Obamacare and how Maryland would be the benchmark for other states. Look how badly Maryland has done (" Maryland 'stumbled out of the gate' with health exchanges, Brown says," Oct. 16) I hope Maryland voters remember at election time. J. Heming, Baltimore
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | 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.
NEWS
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | August 14, 2010
The economy is still on shaky ground. The state has few major primary showdowns. And by the general elections, there will likely be only a handful of top-dollar, hotly contested races here. Yet political ad spending on Baltimore television could break the 2006 record of $17 million by the mid-term elections on Nov. 2. Local radio is going to have a banner year as well, analysts say, thanks to a Supreme Court ruling opening the floodgates on advocacy advertising. Meanwhile, deep-pocketed Democrats will be spending big over the airwaves to counter anti-incumbent sentiment in these contentious times.
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