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U.S. News Recognizes Baltimore Hotels

U.S. News & World Report has included three Baltimore hotels in its annual list of Best Hotels in the USA. The honored properties include the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Baltimore Marriott Waterfront and the InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore.

You can read reviews of the hotels here.

Ravens Defeat of the Steelers Pulls in Big Ratings

It's been five years since the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in two season games.

And it's not just folks in Charm City and the 'Burgh who have noticed.

The 23-20 Nov. 6 victory drew interest from national media, including the New York Times and Huffington Post. The New York Times notes that the game dominated the ratings.

The Huffington Post notes that Joe Flacco's 26-yard pass allowed the Ravens to come from behind to win the game.

Sun Paywall Goes Up

The Baltimore Sun's paywall is officially up.

From paidContent:

The Baltimore Sun is the latest newspaper to add a metered paywall, for both print and non-print subscribers. A digital subscription will cost $2.49 per week or $49.99 for 26 weeks (which works out to $99.84 per year) for non-print subscribers, and $0.75 per week or $29.99 per year for print subscribers. An introductory rate of $0.99 per week for four weeks is available now for a “limited time.”

Read the rest here.

Carroll County Times Jumps On the Paywall Bandwagon

Following the recently-announced lead of the Baltimore Sun, the Carroll County Times will soon join the ranks of paywall-protected newspapers.

From the site:

Starting this week, the Carroll County Times will begin charging frequent users of our website a subscription. The Times is following in the footsteps of several other media organizations around the region and nation.

Readers will be allowed 15 free article views in a 30-day period. After that they will be asked to subscribe. A 30-day subscription and a year-long subscription will be offered. Print subscribers will receive a discounted rate, but will need their subscription account number when they sign up. Customers who don't know their account number should call circulation customer service at 410-857-9413 or 410-875-0731.

Read the full story here.

Duff Goldman's Keeping (Very) Busy

Periodically Duff Goldman's name pops back up in the news and -- surprise! -- it's never for a story on how he's slowing down.

From the source:

Duff Goldman is sitting in a corner of the semi-secret Melrose Avenue location of his Charm City Cakes West bakery, checking the calendar on his iPhone. On the September schedule are meetings with his agent, magazine publisher Conde Nast and craft store Michael's; appearances and demos in Toronto, Buffalo, N.Y., Napa, Calif., and Beverly Hills; then it's back to New York to present a scholarship at the Culinary Institute of America. In between he's touring with his band to the National Buffalo Wing Festival, traveling to Le Mars, Iowa, to taste flavors for his namesake line of Blue Bunny Ice Cream and working on a giant cake in the shape of a sandwich for the opening of a Chick-fil-A.

"I can't believe I'm one of those people," Goldman says, "someone who flies in and then turns around the same day and flies out." He's like the James Brown of bakers - the hardest-working man in the cake business.

Read the whole story.

Sun to Erect Paywall

In a bold bet on its future, the Baltimore Sun will soon put up a paywall and begin offering digital subscriptions.

From the source:

The Sun tells readers that the paywall goes up October 10. “To encourage readers to sign up at launch, we will offer a special introductory rate of 99 cents for the first 4 weeks,” says publisher Tim Ryan. “After that, digital-only subscribers will have a cost of $2.49 a week or $49.99 for 26 weeks. Print subscribers will receive a special reduced rate of 75 cents a week or $29.99 a year. Non-subscribers will have free access to 15 web pages a month. The Sun is the first Tribune paper to announce digital subscriptions.

Read the whole story here.

Tribune Company Explores a Tablet Computer Strategy

The Tribune Company -- owner of, among other properties, the Baltimore Sun -- is exploring the idea of creating its own tablet computing device as a way to distribute content.

From the source:

The Tribune Company could be getting into the tablet game. The Chicago-based media company, which owns papers like the Chicago Tribune, the Baltimore Sun, and the Los Angeles Times as well as 23 TV stations, is reportedly working on a tablet that it will market to subscribers, CNN reports.

Citing "people briefed on the plans," CNN says the tablet will run on a "modified version" of the Android platform, with software specific to the reader's paper of choice. CNN says it spoke with "more than half a dozen current and former Tribune employees" who said the Tribune company will offer the tablet for free or at a heavily reduced price to subscribers.

Read the full story.

City Paper Surveys Baltimore's Online News Scene

Fresh on the heels of the conclusion of the NewsTrust project, the Baltimore City Paper has published an in-depth feature surveying Baltimore's online news landscape.

From the source:

Right now, Baltimore has around eight steady sources of online news, far more than that depending on how you broaden the definition. Some are corporately fed, such as North Baltimore Patch, Charm City Current, Bmore Media, or Baltimore Examiner, and some are independent, such as the Baltimore Brew and Investigative Voice.

For six months, Baltimore was fortunate enough to have an organization here dedicated solely to analyzing the city's journalistic output, NewsTrust Baltimore (the local pilot project of the larger NewsTrust organization). It was a bit like Yelp crossed with the Columbia Journalism Review. The project ceased operations on July 31 (it was always intended as a six-month pilot), leaving behind a collection of reports, one of which is a final comprehensive analysis of sorts. It eventually concludes, "The local news scene is in a state of flux with more than a little creative chaos. But patterns are emerging. As news startups and impassioned individuals become more rigorous and as traditional news organizations become more open and responsive to the public, there is a growing opportunity for collaboration across the local journalistic community."

Read the whole feature here.

Further reading: Bmore's February, 2011 feature on emerging news sites.

U2 Guitarist Sends Letter To the Sun

U2 guitarist The Edge wouldn't seem a likely candidate to be sending a letter to the editor at the Baltimore Sun but that's exactly what happened last week.

From the source:

In the letter to the Baltimore Sun the guitarist responds to criticism of the band's controversial revenue affairs.

He defended U2's financial practices and rubbished "the possibly libelous accusation that U2 and Bono have, by moving a part of their business activities to Holland, been involved in tax evasion".

"For the record, U2 and the individual band members have a totally clean record with every jurisdiction to which they are required to pay tax and have never been and will never be involved in tax evasion," he said in the letter published on Tuesday.

Read the whole story here.

U.S. Conference of Mayors Makes News In Baltimore

The U.S. Conference of Mayors descended on Baltimore this past weekend and they made some national news while they were here, including a call for reduced spending on foreign wars.

From the source:

"When asked to respond to those who argue military efforts overseas have made American cities safer from foreign terrorists, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa pointed to the cost of the wars.

"How did we get to a deficit and a debt larger than at any time not only in U.S. history but in human history? We got involved in two wars that, no matter what you think about those wars, we haven't paid for," Villaraigosa said.

"That we would build bridges in Baghdad and Kandahar and not Baltimore and Kansas City, absolutely boggles the mind."

Read the full story here.

US Attorney General Wants More Seasons of The Wire

Fans of The Wire, David Simon's Baltimore-based HBO series, can count among their ranks US Attorney General Eric Holder, who recently said that he'd like to see the show continue.

From the source:

"...the series, which was lauded for its accurate portrayal of the war on drugs and poverty in inner-city Baltimore, is still a favorite around the Justice Department. National Drug Control Policy czar Gil Kerlikowske said that episodes of the show are used to educate people about the plight of children caught up in the drug trade, the Washington Examiner reported.

President Obama has also previously said that he's a fan of the show."

Read the full story at the New York Daily News.
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