Baltimore Sun Media Group cutting staff at community newspapers

We hear that the Baltimore Sun Media Group is cutting 10 newsroom positions at community newspapers it owns by the end of the year. The cuts are coming from newspapers that are a part of Patuxent and Homestead. The papers affected include the Aegis, Towson Times, Howard County Times, and other newspapers. Photographers and web positions are reportedly exempt from the cuts.

Martin O’Malley praises Rick Perry

John Fritze of the Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley praised Texas Governor Rick Perry for a Texas law, similar to one he signed in Maryland, that gives in-state tuition to some illegal aliens:

“One thing I do like about Perry — I do like the fact that he recognizes that fair is fair and if a family’s paying in-state taxes, they should pay in-state tuition,” the Maryland Democrat said at the breakfast, hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “I think he’s right in making that assertion… Just because Congress can’t get things done and just because we can’t overcome our current affliction of xenophobia and have a rational immigration policy again, is no reason to condemn hardworking kids.”

The Maryland law is suspended now after a petition drive was successful in placing a measure on the ballot next year that could lead to its repeal.

Winners and Losers, Hurricane Irene Edition

This is the first edition of Winners & Losers and will discuss who won and who lost (in public opinion) during Irene.


Sheldon Dutes of WBAL and Adam May of WJZ: May did a stellar job on the anchor desk at WJZ through their wall-to-wall coverage of the storm and Dutes was on the ground staying cool, calm and collected while outside in Ocean City during the storm.

Twitter: Various state and local agencies, elected officials, reporters, media outlers, et. al all kept people informed via Twitter. There was a great deal of engagement with the Twitter audience  between some of each of these and Twitter users. Additionally, and Inside Charm City both used CoverItLive to keep a live stream of news going. Click here to read the archived one from ICC.


BG&E: BG&E was facing a very large number of outages to get reconnected, and some people will complain no matter what when a utility goes out no matter what the circumstances. As of this writing they have approximately 105,000 outages remaining and they’ve restored 637,000 or so outages since the beginning of the week. That is a remarkable number, but their was a lot of ill will directed their way earlier this week when they seemed to just be throwing out the late Friday night blanket estimate for power being restored. They may want to rethink how they roll that kind of news out in the future and figure out a way to cushion the blow or to come up with a better way of explaining it. Just to clarify, we aren’t faulting them on the rate of actually restoring things, but on how they communicated things. (Be sure to see the update at the bottom of this post.)

WMAR: WMAR thought the inbound hurricane was so important that they cut away to NASCAR just before 7 p.m. Saturday, instead of moving the race to ESPN or a digital subchannel like other stations. Then, when they did actually return to their main channel with storm coverage (a move they breathlessly explained was due to the importance of the story because Ocean City was flooding), they only stuck with it a mere 20 minutes before going back to NASCAR. The coverage itself was down at the bottom of the barrel compared to their other 3 competitors.

Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management: Baltimore City OEM apparently saw how much success other state and local agencies were having on Twitter and decided they had to get on the bandwagon too - but they waited until after Irene had passed over. Their “better late than never” responses to that would have probably worked if somebody hadn’t misspelled Baltimore in their Twitter handle and not corrected it for 1-2 hours worth of tweets.

Tucker Barnes of Fox 5: Barnes, pictured at the top left of this post, of the DC Fox affiliate (WTTG) was standing in water at Ocean City doing a live shot and reported that he was standing in “sea foam.”  The truth - that he was standing in sewage - later came out and the video went viral.


Who do you think won or lost in the eyes of public perception during the hurricane? Please leave a comment letting us know.

UPDATE: I am hearing that the Tucker Barnes story did not involve sewage, despite earlier reports that said it did. Ijust wanted to note it for the record. A fairly quick google search (lots of results for the now-viral video cluttering it up) confirmed this. Baltimore More Or Less has the scoop by way of a press release from Ocean City.

Baltimore (or is it Balitmore?) OEM has a rough first day on Twitter

The Baltimore City of Emergency Management joined Twitter today. When I first saw them via the #mdhashtag I noticed this tweet:

I found it interesting that they just now start sending out Hurricane Irene tweets during the aftermath when a Twitter account takes little time to set up. I would have thought they would’ve had an account long before now - it looks like they were just reacting to all the other Twitter successes this weekend from various state and local agencies and decided, “We better get on Twitter.”

I sent out a tweet about their account and referenced it as @BaltimoreOEM without noticing they are actually @BalitmoreOEM. They made a big typo in setting their handle up. The information on the account says it is being run by Connor Scott in the OEM office:

They have since made a tweet in apparent response to our first tweet, and it basically says better late than never. However, if you’re going to be this late to the game, you might want to make sure you actually spell your city’s name right in the Twitter handle setup.

UPDATE: They have now changed it to @BaltimoreOEM. We knew they would - that’s why we have the above screen capture.

UPDATE 2: They also took Connor Scott’s name off the account and set the name to MOEM.


School Closings for Monday, August 29, 2011

Due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, there are closings for Monday. The following is a list of updated closings and delays. Check back as the list is updated.

School Closings
(Last updated: 8/28 at 9:34pm)
Anne Arundel County Public Schools
Anne Arundel Community College
Archbishop Borders School
Baltimore City Community College
Baltimore City Public Schools
Baltimore County Public Schools
Baltimore Lutheran School
Calvert County Public Schools
Cecil County Public Schools
Charles County Public Schools
Chesapeake Academy
Chesapeake College
Elvaton Christian Academy
Harford County Public Schools
Harford Community College
Holy Angels Catholic School
Kent County Public Schools
Loyola Blakefield HS
Medix School (Towson)
Our Lady of Victory
Prince George’s County Public Schools
Queen Anne’s County Public Schools
Sacred Heart School - Glyndon
Seton Keough
St. Ambrose Catholic School
St. John’s the Evangelical (Severna Park)
St. Joseph Fullerton
St. Mary’s County Public Schools
St. Michael’s (Overlea)
St. Paul Lutheran (Catonsville)
St. Paul’s Lutheran Glen Burnie
St. Phillip Neri
Worcester County Schools

Other closings:

Calvert County Government
Calvert County District Court
Federal Govt. in DC - Unscheduled Leave/Telework
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center - Liberal Leave
State of Maryland - Liberal Leave for Non-Essential Employees

Other sources of closing information:
Hurricane Irene Live News Stream
Washington Post

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