Tom Hall | WYPR

Tom Hall

Host

Host, Midday  (M-F 12:00-1:00)

In the Bromo (3rd Friday of the month at 4:44)
What are You Reading? (4th Friday of the month, at 4:44) 

Tom Hall joined the WYPR staff as the Host of Choral Arts Classics in 2003.  After 10 years as the Culture Editor and then host of Maryland Morning, in September, 2016, Tom became the host of Midday, the highly rated news and public policy program that features interviews with elected officials, community leaders, and thought provoking authors, artists, researchers, journalists, and scholars from around the world.

Tom is also the Host of In the Bromo and What Are You Reading? on WYPR.  In addition, he has served as the host of the Maryland Morning Screen Test, and the WYPR/MD Film Festival Spotlight Series.  In 2006, as the Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Tom received an Emmy Award for Christmas with Choral Arts, a special that aired on WMAR television, the ABC affiliate in Maryland, for 21 years.  He has been a guest co-host of Maryland Public Television’s Art Works, and in 2007, he was named “Best New Broadcast Journalist” by the Maryland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.  In 2009, the Baltimore City Paper named him “Best Local Radio Personality,” an award he was also given in the 2016 Baltimore Magazine Reader’s Poll.

Tom is invited frequently to speak to professional and community organizations, including the Oregon Bach Festival, the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, the College Endowment Association, the Baltimore Broadcaster’s Coalition, The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute, the Johns Hopkins Community Conversations Series, and the Creative Alliance.  He has moderated panels and given presentations at the Baltimore City Lit Festival, the Baltimore Book Festival, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, the University of Maryland, the Enoch Pratt Library, and MICA. He has also moderated Mayoral Debates, panels at Light City in Baltimore, and at the Stevenson University Speakers Series.

He appears each year as the moderator of the Rosenberg-Blaustein Distinguished Artist Recital Series at Goucher College.  His publications include articles in the Baltimore Sun, Style Magazine, and Baltimore Magazine, as well as many scholarly music journals, and he is the co-author of The Bach Passions in Our Time:  Contending with the Legacy of Antisemitism, published on-line by the Institute for Islamic Christian and Jewish Studies.  Tom was appointed the Music Director Emeritus of the Baltimore Choral Arts Society in 2017.

Tom Hall lives in Baltimore, with his wife, Linell Smith.  Their daughter, Miranda, is a playwright, based in Washington, DC.

Photo by Richard Anderson

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck is back for her weekly review of a local production! Today, she discusses Baltimore Center Stage's Jazz, the world premiere of Nambi E. Kelley's adaptation of Toni Morrison's 1992 novel. Directed by Kwame Kwei-ArmahJazz depicts the turbulent relationship of a couple living in 1920s Harlem. 

Jazz runs at Baltimore Center Stage on North Calvert Street through Sunday June 25th.

Philip Montgomery for The New York Times

Today another installment of the Midday Culture Connection with Dr. Sheri Parks of the University of Maryland, College Park. Presidential senior advisor and first son-in-law Jared Kushner’s meeting with a Russian banker back in December is the subject of a federal and congressional investigation. ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis conducted his own investigation into Kushner that hits closer to home. Kushner Companies owns and operates 15 apartment complexes in the Baltimore area. Although Kushner stepped down as CEO in January he’s still a stakeholder, with a share of the company estimated to be worth at least $600 million. 

Courtesy Harper Collins Publisher

With more than 6,000 hours of shows logged during an influential career that spanned more than 30 years, David Letterman’s impact on the landscape of late-night is unquestioned.    On today's Midday, a closer look at the life and work of the trend-setting funny man, through the eyes of a writer-journalist who's spent the past three years sizing up the Letterman legacy. 

Jason Zinoman writes about comedy for the New York Times, and has contributed to Slate, the Guardian and Vanity Fair.  He’s the author of three books:  Shock Value, a chronicle of the horror film industry, and Searching for Dave Chappelle, a probing look at the unexpected twists and turns in the career of that brilliant comedian. 

courtesy AP Photo

It’s the Midday News Wrap, our regular Friday look at the week's top local, national and international stories, with host Tom Hall and a rotating panel of journalists and commentators. 

We begin today with a conversation about a Maryland bill to require employers at businesses with 15 or more full time employees to earn at least five paid sick days a year.  The sick leave bill was sponsored by  Luke Clippinger, who, along with Robbyn Lewis and Brooke Lierman, represents Baltimore City in the Maryland House of Delegates.  The bill passed in late April.  Last week, Governor Larry Hogan vetoed it.  To discuss the prospects for overturning that veto next January, and how the law might impact the state's small businesses, Delegate Clippinger joins Tom on the phone today from Frederick, Maryland, where he is attending a meeting.

Then, the Midday News Wrap continues with Tamara Keith, a White House reporter for National Public Radio and host of the NPR Politics Podcastwho joins us from NPR studios in Washington, DC; and Will EnglundForeign Assignments Editor and veteran Russia correspondent for the Washington Post, and author of March 1917: On the Brink of War and Revolution, who joins Tom in the studio.  They'll discuss the big stories in another very busy week in Washington, including President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, the political fallout from his first international trip, and the ongoing investigation of Russia's election meddling and possible ties to the Trump campaign.

Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

It’s the Midday Movie Mayhemour monthly get-together with movie mavens Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post, and Jed Dietz, founding director of the Maryland Film Festival

Ann has just returned from the Cannes Film Festival, which had its share of controversy this year.  So we’ll get a report on that. 

Jed and his crew at the MFF have now been in operation in their new theater, the Parkway, for about a month, we’ll get an update on that, and we’ll talk about a few of the movies that will be at The Charles Theater, The Senator, and the Parkway here in Baltimore in the coming days, including Wonder Womanthe much anticipated action-adventure flick from director Patty Jenkins. 

One of the controversies at Cannes has to do with requirements about Netflix movies having to be released theatrically in order to qualify for prizes, and how long after theatrical release those movies can be made available to stream, etc.

We also invite your calls, emails and tweets on the issue:  How important is it for you to see a movie in a theater, rather than on a TV or computer or tablet, or even your phone?

Photo by ClintonBPhotography

It's Thursday, and that means theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio with her weekly review of the region's thespian offerings.  This week, she's here to tell us about Noises Off, the British farce now playing at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre. 

Everyman’s Resident Company of actors collectively plays a British company of hapless actors in this broad comedy. With their opening night on London’s West End imminent, the company's actors blunder through their rehearsals, and things get worse as the actual play begins.  The cast struggles to control the chaos of lost lines and crossed lovers, and to pull their act together -- for the audience and for themselves.

Noises Off continues at Everyman Theatre through June 18.

Tom previewed Noises Off with Everyman's founding artistic chief and the play's director, Vicent Lancisi, and with Deborah Hazlett, who stars in the role of Dotty Otley...on the May 19 Midday.  To listen to that conversation, click here.

Frank Deford on WYPR

May 31, 2017
Garrison Forest School

The public radio world and sports fans are mourning the loss of former NPR commentator Frank Deford. He died on May 28 at his home in Key West, Florida. He was 78. 

Deford was born in Baltimore and often spoke of his roots in Charm City. Then Maryland Morning host Tom Hall spoke with Deford in May 2012 when he had just published his eighteenth book Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriterin which he looked back over his long career. 

You can listen to that interview below. 


Organizers expect upwards of 5,000 people to assemble in Druid Hill Park this Saturday morning, June 3,  for the 10th annual Baltimore 10-Miler. If you’ll be running this weekend, or if you’re into cycling, swimming, soccer, baseball, or any number of other athletic pursuits, you'll want to listen to today's show.

Dr. Miho Tanaka joined Tom in the studio today. She knows the challenges that are faced by professional athletes and weekend warriors alike.  Dr. Tanaka is an orthopedic surgeon, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and the director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is a team physician for U.S. Soccer. Before moving to Baltimore, she was the team physician for the St. Louis Cardinals and the St Louis Surge in the WNBA.  She has also served as assistant team physician for the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Liberty. Dr. Tanaka took your questions about fitness and how to get the most out of our exercise regimens, regardless of your age, gender or fitness level.  

Here's some good news for local joggers, runners and walkers: "parkrun" -- a free, weekly, 5K event -- is coming to Charm City. Parkruns take place in 11 U.S. cities, and 13 other countries.  Yesterday, the founder of parkrun, Englishman Paul Sinton-Hewitt, was in Leakin Park to announce the launch of Baltimore's free, weekly parkrun, to be held in the park each Saturday morning at 9 a.m. starting June 24.

 

Jury selection begins today in the trial of police officer Jeronimo Yanez, who is accused of second degree manslaughter in the death of a 32-year-old African-American cafeteria supervisor named Philando Castile. Yanez shot Castile during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota last July. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, live streamed video of the immediate aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. According to prosecutors, Castile had a gun in his pocket that he was licensed to carry. They say when he told Yanez about the gun before trying to pull out his driver's license Yanez warned Castile three times not to remove the gun, to which Castile repeatedly responded that he was not going for his weapon,. Prosecutors say when Castile reached for his license, Yanez shot him.

The start of this trial comes on the heels of an acquittal earlier this month in the trial of another officer, Betty Jo Shelby in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She was found not guilty in the death of Terence Crutcher, an unarmed Black motorist whose shooting was captured on a video taken by police in a helicopter. In both of these cases, the encounters between these motorists and police lasted a very short time, but the ramifications of the legal decisions in these and other cases will last for the foreseeable future.  

Doug Mills/NY Times

(Originally broadcast on May 17, 2017)

Our country is becoming much more diverse.  In thirty years, it's estimated that people of color will outnumber non-Latino white Americans. Are our newsrooms representative of our increasingly diverse nation? It’s a question that news organizations are grappling with across the country. Last month, NPR’s Ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen published a report that said that in 2016, of the 350 employees in the NPR news division 75.4 percent were white. In the commentary Jensen wrote "There's simply no way around it: If the goal is to increase diversity in the newsroom, last year's was a disappointing showing” 

Last December, New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd published a frank piece about the lack of diversity in their newsroom. Of course, NPR and the New York Times are not alone. In 2014, minorities made up 22 percent of television journalists, 13 percent of radio journalists, and 13 percent of journalists at daily newspapers. That’s according to the Radio Television Digital News Association and the American Society of News Editors. People of color make up about 15% of the programming staff at WYPR.

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