This story starts with an email I received from a Baltimore resident who says he’s not in the TV business. I don’t really ever get emails about what’s happening in local TV stations around the country from individuals, normal citizens, regular Joes. So this one caught my eye. He wrote: I am not in the […]
I don’t really ever get emails about what’s happening in local TV stations around the country from individuals, normal citizens, regular Joes. So this one caught my eye. He wrote:
I am not in the news business but follow the behind the scenes … closely.
I am writing to let you know WBAL-TV yesterday rolled out a chilling promo featuring the voice of RFK speaking after the Martin Luther King Jr. riots urging calm.
They showed the communities outpouring of support, the clean up, peaceful protests and neighbors helping each other out. I thought it was well produced and conveyed that Baltimore as a city will overcome this violence and will be a stronger better Baltimore in the future.
I wrote Ryan Olsen back and told him that I needed to know more about him, as I was suspicious and skeptical. His reply:
I am just a citizen in Baltimore County. If I had to guess I would say I live about 20 minutes from the epicenter of all the protests where life is continuing on as normal.
I would like to have been down in the area cleaning up the destruction and showing support for the community. As a white male, I cannot fathom the amount of suffering African Americans go through on a daily basis. Several people I have spoken to have condemned those who did the rioting but support the peaceful protesters and the movement.
So naturally, I contacted John Baldwin, WBAL’s creative services director. WBAL is the city’s NBC affiliate owned by Hearst. He wrote:
We took inspiration from Hearst Television’s [Cincinnati] sister station WLWT’s production from earlier in the year. They too made use of sound elements from Robert F. Kennedy’s speech from April 4, 1968, following the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We felt Kennedy’s comments from more than four decades ago were applicable to Baltimore’s situation today, and could play a part in trying to set a positive tone moving forward.
This spot could and perhaps should be played on every TV station in the nation.
I could say a lot of things about this spot, but let’s just let it speak for itself.