Public-access stations don’t exactly have the most exciting reputations. In fact, currently 90 percent of Baltimore’s Channel 25 is devoted to government meetings. But all of that is about to change, as the city relaunches the station on June 25 as Charm TV.
“As much as I love The Wire, it branded Baltimore in a negative way,” says Tonia Lee, the station’s general manager. “What we’re doing is a new approach to how cities can utilize their channel space and tell an authentic story.”
Lee, who has worked in cable TV for 12 years, has recruited some top producers from HGTV, Food Network, and TLC to create lifestyle programming.
Charm TV’s lineup includes My Town (neighborhood guides), Tasty Travels (local eateries), Born in Baltimore (long-time local businesses), and Our City Home (house tours).
Of course, the channel will still cover government and political affairs, but this new lifestyle content will air in the primetime slot—and hopefully be live-streamed in the near future.
“Channel space is hard to come by, so why not rebrand what we already have?” Lee says. “The station is about being proud of and inspired by our city.”