State Roundup: Sinclair boss buys Baltimore Sun Media; looming deficit has lawmakers scrambling for solutions; how a Jan. 6 rioter got on the state elections board

State Roundup: Sinclair boss buys Baltimore Sun Media; looming deficit has lawmakers scrambling for solutions; how a Jan. 6 rioter got on the state elections board

The Sun's former headquarters in Port Covington (Marylandstater/Creative Commons)

SINCLAIR CHIEF BUYS BALTIMORE SUN MEDIA GROUP: The Baltimore Sun, the largest newspaper in Maryland, has been acquired in a private deal by David D. Smith, executive chairman of Hunt Valley-based television station owner Sinclair Inc. Smith said Monday that he acquired Baltimore Sun Media on Friday from investment firm Alden Global Capital, marking the first time in nearly four decades that The Sun will be in the hands of a local owner. Lorraine Mirabella/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Triffon G. Alatzas, the publisher and editor in chief of The Sun, said in an email to the newsroom on Monday that Mr. Smith had bought The Sun “to support his hometown newspaper.” Mr. Alatzas said Mr. Smith would meet the staff at The Sun on Tuesday. Ken Belson/The New York Times.
  • Stewart Bainum Jr., who attempted to buy the Sun before launching the nonprofit Baltimore Banner, welcomed Smith’s investment in local journalism. “The more the new owners invest in The Sun the better because The Sun has been shrinking,” he said. “We launched The Banner to bring more quality journalism to the state and to Baltimore. If this sale to Mr. Smith achieves more of that, it will be a true boost to the region.” Liz Bowie, Emily Sullivan and Cody Boteler/The Baltimore Banner.

OPINION: SUN EDITORIAL PAGE TO MOVE TO THE RIGHT: If you assume that David Smith will bring the same editorial page balance to The Sun that Sinclair has, that means that The Sun will have a Republican-leaning bias in its editorial pages, as compared to the radically left-wing editorial bias of The Baltimore Banner. Brian Griffiths/The Duckpin.

LOOMING DEFICIT HAS LAWMAKERS SCRAMBLING FOR ANSWERS: Twelve months ago, the state government was so awash in money that Gov. Wes Moore and state lawmakers were able to sock away hundreds of millions of dollars in savings and for future education and transportation needs. But what was once a surplus has turned into a deficit, forcing leaders in Annapolis to make difficult decisions about how to make the math work. Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

HOW A JAN. 6 RIOTER CAME TO SIT ON MARYLAND’s ELECTIONS BOARD: Maryland’s nomination process didn’t stop a man who federal prosecutors say participated in the Jan. 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol from being appointed to the board that oversees state elections, despite vetting and background checks. Brenda Wintrode and Pamela Wood/The Baltimore Banner.

APPLYING ACCOUNTABILITY TO CITY WAR ON CRIME: “The hallmark of what I hope to see in any juvenile justice legislation can be summarized in one word, accountability,” Gov. Wes Moore has said. However, questions are now swirling about how accountability will be applied in the city’s war on crime. Part of the Governor’s crime plan involves the establishment of a statewide “Thrive Program” which is modeled after Baltimore’s “Group Violence Reduction Strategy. Jeff Abell/WBFF-TV News.

ENERGY FIRMS PUSH BACK AS LAWMAKERS SEEK TOUGHER CONSUMER PROTECTIONS: As top lawmakers move to strengthen consumer protections for utility customers who shop for electricity suppliers, large national energy companies are countering with a poll showing an overwhelming majority of voters want to retain robust competition in the marketplace. Josh Kurtz/Maryland Matters.

***Coming off the success of his first play, “Baltimore You have No Idea,” Sun columnist Dan Rodricks has produced “Baltimore Docket,” which dramatizes seven trials he has covered over the years. Three of six performances in February are already sold out. Click for tickets here.***

BA CO AGREES TO HOUSE DETAINED CHILDREN IN B’MORE JUVIE JAIL: Baltimore County agreed in early January to move detainees under 18 charged as adults to a Baltimore City juvenile jail when space allows, months after the Office of the Maryland Public Defender criticized conditions for minors at the Towson jail. Cassidy Jensen/The Baltimore Sun.

WHAT TO KNOW AS SECOND MOSBY TRIAL BEGINS: Twice in 2020, then-Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby swore she suffered financial hardship because of the coronavirus pandemic and sought tens of thousands of dollars from her city retirement fund. On Thursday, another jury will begin to focus on the former state’s attorney’s real estate purchases in the Sunshine State. Jury selection begins Tuesday. Prosecutors say Mosby misled lenders by making several false statements on mortgage applications for both properties. Alex Mann/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Mosby, 43, a Democrat who served as the city’s top prosecutor from 2015-2023 and rose to national prominence after she charged six Baltimore Police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, was found guilty on Nov. 9 of two counts of perjury. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.

DNR TO PLANTS 147M OYSTER SPAT THANKS TO GROUNDED SHIP: The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will plant about 147 million oyster spat, or juvenile oysters, on 41 acres in Anne Arundel County waters with mitigation funds from the 2022 grounding of the Ever Forward on an upper Chesapeake Bay oyster bar. Keith Demko/The Salisbury Daily Times.

MO CO LEADERS FOCUS ON CHILDHOOD HUNGER: Childhood hunger — an issue that impacts more than 33,000 children in Montgomery County, according to Feeding America — drew elected leaders from the county and state levels to Gaithersburg on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for a roundtable discussion. Courtney Cohn/MoCo 360.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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