Could a full moon signal a changing tide in Baltimore news? We began our newscast this morning at 4:30, an extra half hour earlier than anyone else in Baltimore.
I first found out late on Sunday that we had a mandatory meeting at the station at 3:00 AM today. Despite the lack of sleep, our newsroom was filled with two dozen people, most of which just about to find out that our schedule was changing. The trend of earlier news across the nation was about to hit Charm City. Not so charming for us, huh?
When I first began in this business in the 1990s, early morning news started at 6am. When I moved to Baltimore in 1997, it was 5:30am... soon to be 5:26am just for WBAL to edge out WJZ by a few minutes. Now, 2011, in my ninth year at ABC2 (WMAR), we lead the charge even earlier at 4:30AM
When I first heard, literally this morning, I wanted to howl. How fitting that we captured this image of the full moon on TV. However, after posting a question about this early time frame on my facebook page, I was surprised to find out how many thought it was a good idea. Maybe the full moon was shedding light on the earlier morning... Literally!
Within the first 10 minutes, I had four followers support the time. OK, that was 4:40am and these people were already up. Within the first hour that jumped to about 25 comments and 'likes'. Apparently we are reaching the very early risers, the overnight shift workers, and insomniacs. So... a good idea, how long before the other station play copy-cat and catch up.
Just two weeks ago we had a tornado warning in Anne Arundel County before 5am. We maintained extended weather coverage of those storms which was a reminder that outside of winter, morning weather can be nasty.
The weather never sleeps or takes a rest. Those of you that follow me on nights and weekends on facebook know that. I even got to share the accounts my own tornado warning on Saturday . I had to wake up my kids and go to the basement, which turning into a lesson for my 5-year-old son and some online.
So, the full moon was a beautiful sight to brighten our skies early this morning. Hopefully it is a signal that this decision will prove to more in Maryland that we are committed to bring you the best coverage of all aspects of news, at all hours. Please, let us know what you think.
FYI- Keep the conversation going. If you are on facebook, 'recommend' and share this story. Even 'Like' my page and the station's page through the links below and watch how we really interact with you and appreciate your insight into what impacts us all.
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