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Power Rankings

Baltimore City Power Rankings

Baltimore Sun Media Group, BCPS, Inspector General, City Paper, and House of Cards

Photo: Illustrations by Alex Fine, License: N/A

Illustrations by Alex Fine


 

1 Baltimore Sun Media Group

Amid endless uncertainty in the newspaper industry and at its parent Tribune Company, BSMG made what can only be described as a good move from its perspective: Buying the best newspaper in town.

2 BCPS

In choosing the Milwaukee Schools chief Gregory Thornton to be the new CEO of city schools, the school board did several things right. First, they passed over polarizing interim CEO Tisha Edwards, who, despite being departed CEO Andres Alonso’s pick, lacked classroom experience and had many enemies in the deeply political world of the school system. And based on reports from Milwaukee, Thornton looks to be a pragmatist, more interested in getting results than engaging in confrontations or grandstanding. Now, if only somebody could stick with the job for more than three or four years.

3 Inspector General

The City Council has already begun an investigation in the city speed-camera debacle, which saw absurdly high error rates and efforts to conceal them, but the inspector general’s office exists as an independent entity exactly for such an investigation, and BCPR is happy to see Robert H. Pearre Jr. finally step up and announce his own investigation. First step: Seize the paper shredders.

4 City Paper

Previously owned by Times-Shamrock, a small, struggling newspaper company in Scranton, Pa., that knew little about Baltimore and less about alternative newspapers, CP is now owned by a larger struggling newspaper company based in Chicago. How serious new ownership is about promises of “editorial independence” remains to be seen, but those of us still here after potential layoffs are taking them at their word for now—have you seen our cover?

5 House of Cards

Shooting the Netflix drama locally has reportedly brought $250 million and 6,000 jobs into the Maryland economy—including rent money to shoot in the North Calvert Street offices of our new owners at the Sun. Producers have received $11 million and $15 million in tax credits in return for shooting seasons 1 and 2 locally. Now producers are threatening to “break down our stage, sets and offices and set up in another state” unless they get similar or larger credits for Season 3; a bill is in committee that would up credits to $18 million. The show is only getting more popular, but the producers’ threats and increasing stakes are a little too close to the script for comfort.

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