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Baltimore

How Did Baltimore Stations Cover the Ray Rice Story?

We thought yesterday was a good day to see how Baltimore stations covered the release of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice after video surfaced showing him hitting his wife.

Both CBS owned station WJZ (who was on at 4:00 because of US Open coverage) and NBC affiliate WBAL went into team coverage on the story. ABC affiliate WMAR was the pleasant surprise of the day, focusing instead on the victims of domestic abuse with a community activist giving tips on how to recognize it when you see it, what to do about it and where to go if you need help.

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Former WJZ Sports Anchor Dies

shawn-maddenShawn Madden, former anchor for Baltimore CBS owned station WJZ, died at a gym he owned in Shrewsbury, PA, last week.

The station said Madden’s family had a history of heart disease, though the cause of his death is unknown.

Madden, who was 45, co-owned two Gold’s Gyms. According to his obituary, he “was passionate about fitness and body building and was a Professional Men’s Physique Competitor.”

[Pressbox]

Don Scott Talks About Leaving WJZ After 40 Years

don scott wjzWJZ morning anchor Don Scott will say goodbye to viewers of the Baltimore CBS owned station Friday.

He spoke to David Zurawik, TV critic for The Baltimore Sun about why he’s leaving, viewer reaction to the news and what his final words on-air are going to be.

Q. I have seen different numbers on your run at WJZ. Can we nail it down? Is it actually 40 years??

A. My 40th anniversary was this past Monday. I’m going out Friday at 40 years and 4 days.

Q. Now this isn’t a mandatory-at-65 retirement, is it? I know some media companies once had that rule. But that’s not the deal at CBS, is it? You’re choosing to step down, right?

A. I am choosing… It’s my choice. My contract was up at the end of May. So, during contract negotiations, I just decided I didn’t want to do this any more. Read more

WMAR Meteorologist During Hurricane Arthur: ‘The Station Just Got Hit By Lightning’

Mike Masco, meteorologist at WMAR, was in the middle of covering how the outer bands of Hurricane Arthur were affecting the Baltimore area, when the station was affected by a lightning strike. Masco’s audio went out for a matter of seconds, but the station was dark for about :20. While he news continued, the lightning strike affected several power functions at the station which is located in Towson. “The AC is still not fixed at ABC 2.,” Masco Tweeted around 9pm Thursday, “Meaning we will look like night of the living dead on TV..Stay tuned….”

Catherine Hawley to Join WMAR

hawley_wmar croppedWMAR has announced Catherine Hawley will join the Baltimore ABC affiliate as a reporter and multimedia journalist.

“We are really excited to have Catherine join the ABC2 team” Kelly Groft, WMAR news director, said in a statement. “It’s been in the works for several weeks and we can’t wait for Baltimore viewers to get to know her!”

Before coming to WMAR Hawley worked at WFMZ in Allentown, PA. She has also worked at WRIC in Richmond, VA, and WTVH in Syracuse, NY. She starts Monday.

WBAL Adds Megan Pringle to Morning Team

pringle wmar_croppedMegan Pringle is joining Baltimore NBC affiliate WBAL as weekend morning anchor. weekday morning reporter.

“Megan’s long experience covering Baltimore news is the perfect complement to our already strong morning team,” WBAL president and GM Dan Joerres said in a statement.

Pringle, who will work with Jason Newton and Mindy Basara, left Baltimore ABC affiliate WMAR in November to work in PR.

WMAR 911 Calls: ‘He Just Drove Right Through the Lobby’

Police have released the 911 calls from WMAR employees after a man drove a truck into the Baltimore ABC affiliate’s building and barricaded himself inside for several hours. The suspect, Vladimir Mehul Baptiste, has been charged with attempted murder and assault.

“We’re under attack. We have a truck that has smashed through the front doors, driven into the lobby. We need assistance out here immediately,” one caller says. “…We don’t need an ambulance right now, we need protection.” Watch:

WMAR Suspect Charged With Attempted Murder, Assault

wmar suspect mugshot1Vladimir Mehul Baptiste, 27, has been charged with “three counts of attempted second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree assault, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and related burglary and theft charges,” according to WMAR. Baptiste was arrested for driving a truck into WMAR and barricading himself inside the station for nearly five hours Tuesday.

Baptiste is being held at the Baltimore Detention Center in lieu of $750,000 bail. According to the ABC affiliate, Baptiste posted a series of tweets while he was barricaded inside the building, including one that read “chillin @ abc2 news waiting and yawning.”

The suspect’s mother, Merizia Saindor Baptiste, told WMAR anchor Kelly Swoope that her son had a history of drug use and was supposed to be in a rehab treatment program Tuesday. Video after the jump.  Read more

WMAR Suspect in Custody; ‘Mentally Ill’ Man Was ‘Watching TV News’ While Barricaded

wmar truckLaw enforcement in Baltimore has taken a “mentally ill” man who rammed a truck through the station’s front door and barricaded himself inside for nearly five hours Tuesday into custody.

“We sometimes have to balance the need to let the public know about an incident with the reality of what was taking place under the police view,” Baltimore county executive Kevin Kamenetz said at a press conference that began around 4:40 p.m. “In this case, we had a mentally ill suspect who had commandeered a TV station and was watching TV news while the police were assessing the situation. So the police made a determination that we would not report anything to the press while he was actively watching the news to avoid escalating the situation.”

No injuries were reported in the incident. Although they had not yet been cleared to return to the building, WMAR returned to live broadcasting from the street in front of the station around 4:30 p.m. — with help from a Scripps sister station, KNXV in Phoenix. The station has not yet returned to the airwaves, but is currently streaming coverage online. (>Update: the station was back on the air as of about 5 p.m.)

Shortly before the station went back on the air, WMAR reporter Christian Schaffer posted a Vine of the truck hitting the station to Twitter: Read more

WMAR ND ‘Screamed For Everyone in the Newsroom to Get Out’ After Truck Rammed Lobby

wmar building_304x200WMAR news director Kelly Groft talks to the Associated Press about her reaction after a truck slammed into the lobby of the Baltimore ABC affiliate this afternoon:

WMAR-TV News Director Kelly Groft told The Associated Press in a phone interview that the station believes everyone inside evacuated safely. She said that when the truck began ramming the lobby around noon Tuesday, she screamed for everyone in the newsroom to get out.

Baltimore County police said 55 people evacuated but that they couldn’t be sure everyone was out. Police said there may be an armed person inside, but there had not been any reports of shots fired. Police also said they knew of no motive. “As far as I know everyone is safe,” Baltimore County Police Department Cpl. Brian Kelly, standing near the scene, said.

Groft also talked to Luke Russert, who is on the scene for NBC News: “Local ABC wmar news director tells me it’s the biggest story in Bmore but they can’t put anyone on air because their bldg is evacuated,” Russert tweeted.

The man driving the vehicle is reportedly barricaded in the WMAR building.

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