October 15, 2012
Baltimore television stations expected little in the way of political advertising this election year. Then the fight over expanded gambling in Maryland erupted, pitting deep-pocketed casino companies against each other. The barrage of ads urging viewers to vote for or against the gambling referendum could drive political ad spending at local television stations to well over $10 million this year, according to some estimates. Still, the Baltimore TV market's share of the political spending will fall short of 2010, a year that featured a governor's race as well as heavy casino-related issue advertising.
July 19, 2012
Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. announced an agreement Thursday to buy six television stations from Kansas City, Mo.-based Newport Television for $412.5 million. The Hunt Valley-based broadcaster has been on an acquisition binge in the past year, purchasing 23 stations representing nearly $1 billion in assets. The latest six stations are located in five markets: Cincinnati; San Antonio, Texas; the Harrisburg/Lancaster/Lebanon/York area of Pennsylvania; the combined Mobile, Ala./Pensacola, Fla., market; and Wichita/Hutchinson, Kan. The deal, subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, is expected to close no earlier than December, the company said.
May 25, 2012
Many folks may be traveling on this long Memorial Day holiday weekend, but if you're going to be around, here are two activities not to miss on Saturday. The first one's a snap - you don't even have to leave the house, or get out of your PJs. At 9 a.m Saturday (May 26), local cable, broadcast and satellite TV stations will feature a half-hour documentary about the Healthy Harbor campaign to make Baltimore's harbor swimmable and fishable by the end of the decade. The algae bloom and fish kills this week are furnishing a pungent reminder of why this campaign was launched.
February 13, 2012
After watching another TV reporter broadcasting from the great outdoors during the latest "blast of snow" we recently experienced, I think it's time we viewers said enough is enough. I realize that local weather is the life's blood of our local news stations. After all, if it wasn't for numerous forecasts, warmed over national news, and the latest "Sky Team" view of the nightly traffic accident, the local news hour would barely exist. But that doesn't excuse the constant gross exaggeration, screen crawls and teasers suggesting the need to "stay tuned" to hear about the approaching Armageddon - which frequently amounts to a snow shower somewhere in Cumberland.
January 20, 2012
It's Saturday night at Canton's Du Burns Arena, and Mike "The Prodigy" Bennett flexes and preens as his opponent, Ring of Honor champion Jay Lethal, staggers across the mat. As the bad-boy wrestler's scantily clad girlfriend-valet joins the gloating, fans erupt in an angry chant of "You suck, you suck. " Those in the front row yell the loudest - pounding the metal dividers surrounding the ring in time with the chant. Welcome to the new - and, at the same time, very old - world of TV wrestling, as the Sinclair Broadcast Group embraces the original programming business that comes with chokeholds and body slams.
January 18, 2012
UPDATES AGAIN 6:10 p.m. Wednesday with more comments from Berk on reaction to his departure. UPDATES Wednesday morning With Berk comments at end. Weatherman Justin Berk is no longer with Baltimore's WMAR-TV, according to Bill Hooper, the station's general manager. "Friday was Justin's last day," Hooper said in a telephone insterview with the Sun Tuesday. "We have been going back and forth for months on terms of a contract, and the two sides just couldn't come together.
November 12, 2011
"Working. For you," is the slogan of WPEC-TV in West Palm Beach, Fla. But next year, Sinclair Broadcast Group expects WPEC to also work especially hard for Sinclair shareholders as it rakes in advertising money on behalf of candidates for Congress and the presidency. Thanks to the Supreme Court's removal of restrictions on political spending and Florida's perennial status as a political battlefield, West Palm Beach viewers are likely to be blasted by more ads than ever, suggesting Republicans will wreck Medicare and Democrats will wreck the country.
August 4, 2011
Dorothy E. Brunson, who became the first African-American woman in the nation to own a radio station when she bought WEBB-AM in Baltimore, died Sunday of complications from ovarian cancer at Mercy Medical Center. The Northwest Baltimore resident was 72. "Thanks to the pioneering work of Ms. Brunson, the world of broadcast media was opened up to African-American entrepreneurs and business leaders," Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. "Her vision and commitment to excellence at every level of the business led to her success and paved the way for others to find success in cities across America.