Rhea Feikin reflects on her career in ‘Rhea: A Life in Television’

Courtesy: Maryland Public Television.

Rhea Feikin for Mayor? At least she’d have the fundraising part down.

During a half-hour program about broadcasting pioneer Rhea Feikin and her recent retirement as “First Lady of Maryland Public Television,” filmmaker John Waters suggested that she run for public office now that she has some time on her hands.

“What’s next? Everybody’s going to say that. Why don’t you run for mayor?” he told her on the show, in which he interviewed her. “You have the name recognition.”

Baltimore Fishbowl wins MDDC Press Association awards for news, features and more

Baltimore protestors and supporters at Harbor East last September greeting President Donald Trump. The photo won freelance photographer Joe Giordano an MDDC Press Association Contest first-place finish in the general news photo category, Division O.

Dear Readers:

I am pleased to report that Baltimore Fishbowl won nine awards in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association Contest this week for stories published in 2019. It is Baltimore Fishbowl’s first year competing in the contest, which included nearly 1900 submissions from 52 member organizations. Baltimore Fishbowl entered the contest in Division O, for online news.

MPT to premiere ‘Rhea: A Life in Television’ on May 18

Courtesy: Maryland Public Television.

Though Rhea Feikin signed off the air on March 1, Maryland Public Television is not done celebrating its “First Lady.”

The network announced a new half-hour special, “Rhea: A Life in Television,” documenting Feikin’s five decade career before the camera, scheduled to air on May 18 at 8 p.m. and again on May 23 at 5:30 p.m.

Peter Schmuck, advertising staffer take buyouts from Baltimore Sun

Photo by Brandon Weigel.

Sports columnist Peter Schmuck, whose byline has been in The Sun‘s pages for three decades, took a buyout from the city’s daily newspaper.

A member of the advertising staff also took the offer, said environment, science and weather reporter Scott Dance, who serves as unit chair of The Sun‘s union–meaning the newsroom is now protected from layoffs through the month of June.

Baltimore Sun staff wins Pulitzer Prize for ‘Healthy Holly’ coverage

Photo by Brandon Weigel.

The Baltimore Sun staff won the Pulitzer Prize in local reporting for the newspaper’s investigatory work on former Mayor Catherine Pugh’s children’s book line, ultimately exposing the series as a scheme Pugh used to enrich herself and part of a larger pattern of self-dealing on the board of the University of Maryland Medical System.

Under increased pressure as more and more book deals were revealed by The Sun and other outlets, Pugh took a leave of absence in April 2019 before resigning one month later.

In November, the disgraced former mayor pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy and tax charges.

Five top executives resigned from the non-profit hospital operator, and state lawmakers passed ethics legislation reforming its board of directors.

The citation credits The Sun staff for “illuminating, impactful reporting on a lucrative, undisclosed financial relationship between the city’s mayor and the public hospital system she helped to oversee.”

Baltimore Sun union agrees to permanent pay cuts, furloughs

The Sun’s Port Covington printing plant. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The Baltimore Sun’s newsroom union agreed to permanent pay cuts for employees making $67,000 per year or more and to furloughs, two cost-cutting measures proposed by Tribune Publishing under the threat of layoffs, the union said.

The Baltimore Sun Guild, the newspaper’s unit within the Washington-Baltimore News Guild, said management was threatening to lay off five newsroom staffers next week.

Tribune furloughs non-union staff making between $40K-$67K, seeks cuts from union

Photo by Brandon Weigel.

Tribune Publishing, owner of The Baltimore Sun, today announced three-week furloughs for non-union employees who make between $40,000 and $67,000 a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Baltimore magazine combines June/July issues, tell stories of people on ‘front lines’ of pandemic

The covers of Baltimore magazine’s past three issues, including their April “Home-Owners’ Survival Guide.” Image courtesy of Baltimore magazine.

Baltimore magazine will be combining its June and July issues for a special issue featuring the stories of people on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The magazine’s president, Michael Teitelbaum, said in a letter to readers that COVID-19 and “the corresponding financial pain it is causing”–including the halt in advertising in the magazine’s pages–contributed to the decision to combine the issues.

The virus has also made it difficult for the magazine’s writers and photographers to access subjects for stories, Teitelbaum said.

As such, the magazine decided to combine the issues to give the coronavirus subject “the time and attention that it deserves,” editor-in chief Max Weiss told Baltimore Fishbowl.

Q&A: MPT’s Rhea Feikin discusses her career on TV, retirement and more

Courtesy: Maryland Public Television.

For more than five decades, Rhea Feikin has graced the television screens in Marylanders’ homes, first as the star of the educational program “Betty Better Speech” and children’s show “Miss Rhea and Sunshine,” both on WBAL. Then, with the help of a puppet named J.P., she read the weather on the station’s newscasts.

But most know Feikin as the “First Lady” of Maryland Public Television, where she has worked since the 1970s, starting out as a freelancer before becoming a correspondent on the “Consumer Survival Kit” and, eventually, the host of the arts series “Artworks,” interview series “Impressions” and the localized “Antiques Roadshow” program “Chesapeake Collectibles,” among other shows. Perhaps her most prominent role at the station was as the on-air host of the pledge drive specials.

AFRO newspaper to establish new headquarters in West Baltimore’s Upton Mansion

Upton Mansion. Photo courtesy of Maryor’s Office.

How The AFRO newspaper came to be depends on who you ask, said Rev. Dr. Frances Murphy Draper, great-granddaughter of the newspaper’s founder, John H. Murphy Sr.

If you ask the men in the family, Murphy Sr.’s wife, Martha–Draper’s great-grandmother–gifted her husband $200 to buy The AFRO name and a printing press at an auction. But if you ask the women in the family, the money was a loan, said Draper, who is the newspaper’s CEO and publisher, as well as the senior pastor at the Freedom Temple A.M.E. Zion Church.