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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 2012
Local TV news ratings in Baltimore are rarely news. The market has been dominated for a long time by a back-and-forth battle between WJZ and WBAL. Since the mid-1990s, most years ended in some version of a split decision, with both stations claiming victory. It was all mind-numbingly predictable. Then, last week, came a set of Nielsen numbers for January showing WJZ (Channel 13) scoring a clean sweep over WBAL (Channel 11) - winning every competitive news time period. That defines dominance.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2012
Donna Hamilton will be joining Rod Daniels at the 11 p.m. anchor desk at WBAL-TV  (Channel 11) starting Super Bowl night, General Manager Dan Joerres confirmed Wednesday. Daniels has been anchoring the flagship broadcast solo since July when WBAL decided not to renew the contract of Marianne Banister. Banister had been co-anchoring since 1995 when she arrived at WBAL from station KABC, the ABC owned station in Los Angeles where she anchored early morning and 6 p.m. newscasts in the nation's second largest TV market.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | January 17, 2012
Friends, family, fans and colleagues said a public farewell to WBAL radio show host Ron Smith Tuesday at Goucher College. And it was as powerful and moving in some respects as the way Smith, who died in December at age 70, lived his final weeks and months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October. The manner in which Smith shared his final days with his radio audience until he could no longer go on air, and then the way he said farewell to them in a live broadcast, was remarkable --  both public and yet incredibly intimate.
NEWS
By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun | January 5, 2012
The public is invited to attend a memorial service Jan. 17 for WBAL's Ron Smith, Baltimore radio's longtime "Voice of Reason," who died of pancreatic cancer Dec. 19. The service, to be held at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium, will include testimonials from WBAL-TV sports anchor Gerry Sandusky, news anchor Stan Stovall, financial analyst Jonathan Murray and political analyst Blair Lee IV. Also speaking will be WBAL Vice President and General...
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 30, 2011
WBAL radio will launch its new post-Ron-Smith lineup Monday, and it will feature more news and less daytime talk, according to Dave Hill, program director for WBAL and FM sister station 98 Rock. "Maryland's Morning News" will now run for five hours from 5 to 10 a.m., while the station's afternoon newscast anchored by Mary Beth Marsden will start at 2 and end at 6 p.m. It had been starting at 3 p.m. The only daytime talk show will be hosted by Clarence Mitchell IV, known to WBAL audience as C4, who will now start his four-hour program at 10 a.m. The station will offer an expanded 15 minute newscast at noon, and Mitchell will then continue to 2 p.m. Smith, who hosted talk shows on WBAL for 26 years, died this month of pancreatic cancer.
NEWS
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2011
Ron Smith, who came to Baltimore 38 years ago as a weekend TV anchorman but found his greatest success on radio as WBAL's "Voice of Reason," died Monday night of pancreatic cancer at his home in Shrewsbury, Pa.. He was 70. Mr. Smith spent more than 26 years on WBAL's airwaves, most of it in the afternoon drive-time period until a move to mornings last year, passionately talking politics from a conservative point of view. But it is not his politics for which he will likely be remembered as much as the informed conversation he helped create on Baltimore radio — and the way he publicly shared his final days with listeners of WBAL and readers of The Baltimore Sun. On Nov. 28, after continuing on-air for more than two months despite having been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer that had metastasized throughout his body, Mr. Smith signed off at the 50,000-watt news-talk station for the last time in his signature straightforward, no-nonsense, radio style.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 18, 2011
The Baltimore Ravens and Hearst Broadcasting announced a new deal Sunday night that will keep the team on WBAL radio and television for the next five years. Given the incredibly strong media performanance of all things Ravens locally and nationally, this is big news for WBAL -- news that is sure to keep the Hearst-owned radio, TV and online properties at or near the top of Baltimore sports media. Here's the announcement: Hearst Broadcasting and the Baltimore Ravens signed a new five year extension of their partnership today.
SPORTS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 5, 2011
Long-time WBAL talk-show host Ron Smith said Sunday night that being awarded the Baltimore Ravens game ball after the team's win over the Cleveland Browns was a "tonic. " Smith, who is in home hospice after ending chemotherapy for Stage Four pancreatic cancer that has metastasized throughout his body, said in a telephone interview after news of the award that Sunday had been an "extraordinarily tough day" in terms of his health. But after "the Ravens win and the [coach John Harbaugh]
SPORTS
Baltimore Sun staff | December 4, 2011
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said after the team's 24-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns today that he was giving the game ball to WBAL radio broadcaster Ron Smith, who retired last week as he is battling pancreatic cancer. Harbaugh said Smith spoke to the team Friday before it left for Cleveland. Smith announced on-air last week that he is in home hospice and will no longer be appearing on air. "The decision has been made by me to stop appearing on the radio show," Smith said just before the start of his show, which begins at 9 a.m., according to The Sun's Z on TV blog . "I'm retiring," Smith said, according to the blog.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 28, 2011
Veteran WBAL radio host Ron Smith announced on-air Monday that he is in home hospice and will no longer appear on air. "The decision has been made by me to stop appearing on the radio show," Smith said just before the start of his show, which begins at 9 a.m. "I'm retiring," Smith continued. "I basically can no longer do it. I'm getting weaker every day, and it's time to pull the plug. How's that for succinct?" Smith was talking on-air to morning show host Dave Durian, and in answer to a statement by Durian about Smith's feelings, the 69-year-old broadcaster said he "never wanted to retire.
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