Matt Cwalina: Director at WMAR TV


Angela Tuell  00:05

Welcome to Media in Minutes. This is your host Angela Tuell. This podcast features in-depth interviews with those reports on the world around us. They share everything from their favorite stories to what happened behind the lens and give us a glimpse into their world. From our studio here at Communications Redefined, this is Media in Minutes. Today I’m super excited to talk with Matt Cwalina. He is an Emmy Award-winning director for the morning news on WMAR-TV in Maryland. In his 20-year career, he has worked in every TV news production role possible, from studio duties to audio to Chiron and video to technical directing. He has worked in live news, pre-taped shows, segment producing, appearing in segments, live and pre-taped sports broadcasts, sports and news talk shows, in-house productions, and live events. Welcome, Matt, thank you for joining us.


Matt Cwalina  01:02

Well, thank you for having me. I appreciate it.


Angela Tuell  01:04

Yeah, so it’s 1 p.m. now, and you’ve already put in a full day’s work, right?


Matt Cwalina  01:09

Oh, absolutely have. I’m just I know, this is an audio podcast. I want everybody on my work in the visual media. So I want everyone at home to know that I am still in the three-piece Armani suit that I wear every day. Into the control room. Yeah, I like to keep it classy. I’m not you know, I’m not the sweatpants, slippers, Walmart t-shirt kind of guy.


Angela Tuell  01:30

Okay, for those who don’t know you – or who do you know – would you say that you are a morning person? Or that you’ve struggled with these hours? What exactly are your hours?


Matt Cwalina  01:42

Well, my hours are three to 11 a.m. So I get up at the crack of dawn at 2 a.m. I get to the station at about three o’clock. You know, being honest 3:07. And then, but I’m usually unless you know unless there’s something that happens – which in TV, it always does – but I’m out of there usually by 11 a.m. It did take me a while because my whole career until that point had been evenings. So it did take me it took me a little while to get used to things. I think it was about maybe four months in which I quite literally slept through half of my shift, Do Not Disturb Airplane Mode kind of thing on. And my alarm didn’t go off for some reason. And I woke up and I was freaking out. And everybody was kind of laughing like, Oh, it’s okay, it happens to everybody at least once. That was the only time it ever happened. In my entire career, I was a little worried because I was relatively new. So I’m like, holy moly. What’s, what’s gonna happen here? But no, everybody was fine. It was like that’s a rite of passage for everyone on this shift. But no, I fell into a good groove. And now I’m still in that good groove. I still probably would consider myself a night person. It’s just, you know, the nature of the business. You don’t usually find too many TV people with really nice schedules.


Angela Tuell  03:10

Yes, that Oh, that is so true. You know, and to be transparent with everyone, even though it seems like a lifetime ago like that didn’t even happen. But Matt and I worked together at WMDT TV in Salisbury, Maryland, when I was the weekend anchor, there fresh out of college. Most people don’t realize all that goes on behind the scenes technically. You have to pull the show off seamlessly, or in some cases, especially in a small market, not so seamlessly sometimes.


Matt Cwalina  03:36

Yeah, the behind-the-scenes, I like to think of it as controlled chaos, where there could be all sorts of fires to put out and the craziness and maybe burst breaking news and people are yelling or something of some equipment fails, or we have a camera problem. And we just kind of have to weather it all. And sometimes that’s really the fun part. So the most important thing to me, the most important thing is, if you are at home, and you’re watching the news, and everything looks completely fine, even though there’s all sorts of behind-the-scenes stuff going on. That’s kind of the goal to get it so that the viewers have no idea what’s happening. We are still presenting them with the content that we want to deliver. And we just want to make it happen seamlessly. So we’re, you know, there’s from the, from the reporters that as you can attest to going out and shooting, to writing the scripts and the producers and the and then again, you can attest to it bringing it on air. It is quite a lot of work. It’s kind of like a snowball rolling downhill until it finally gets there and then everybody at home can hopefully enjoy.


Angela Tuell  04:50

Yes. For those who have never seen a control room or what goes on behind the scenes there. Describe for us a little bit.


Matt Cwalina  04:58

Well yeah, I mean, it’s a big room, it’s kind of like a, like a, like a spaceship a little bit, you know, you’re sitting in there, you got you, you know your rundown in front of you. So the rundown for those who don’t know is just a, basically, usually a computer program that is showing you exactly what’s going to be in the show, um, pretty much step by step. We have your teases, and we have your open, then we have your on camera. So as the director, I’m seeing all that then we have your technical director doing that doing the button punching. Depending on the type of studio you’re working in, you know, camera operators, possibly tape operators, although tape, it’s kind of made its way to servers, right? So you’re playing video clips from whatever computer servers you have. And I’ve got my, we’ve got our giant monitors that have two dozen or more different sources sometimes. So you’re seeing, we can see everything all at once everything that the viewer is seeing at home, we are seeing all of that everywhere at all times, we have, you know, our anchor monitors and video monitors and our Tyronn channels or our graphics. So it is a it’s quite a band like an orchestra band with a whole bunch of different instruments.


Angela Tuell  06:18

Yeah, and as a director, you’re leading all of it, right? Or you’re making sure that it that everyone’s doing their job, and it all falls into place.


Matt Cwalina  06:26

Right. That’s that’s kind of kind of how I look at it, it’s almost a bit of a person conducting the orchestra. Everybody’s playing their instruments, and I’m just making sure we’re hitting all the right notes, for those at home in terms of everything, trying to, you know, we all work together, but trying to troubleshoot problems that come up or whatever it may be, deliver the content correctly, and with good pacing. And they really want the viewer to have, to me a seamless experience. That’s, you know, then that’s also going to be visually captivating, because otherwise, right, you know, there’s too many channels for it not to get changed.


Angela Tuell  07:08

Yeah. And it really is a high-stress position, especially during live news, you know, and as a director, you are the one to blame. Even if it wasn’t your fault. When you know, the wrong camera pops up a tape segment doesn’t play at the right time, the show goes long or it’s cut off when you know anchors didn’t wrap on cue or a bazillion other things I’m sure you’ve lived through. What’s in your DNA that’s made you so successful in the director role? It must be your sense of humor, right?


Matt Cwalina  07:35

Well, I so I’m sure everybody else after just so many eye rolls, you know, and after hearing the same terrible puns over and over again, but I still like to put them out there to someone who’s listening. Right. Right. But no, I think but that actually that kind of plays a part of it a little bit because I’m kind of, you know, I’m kind of quick-witted. And I feel like that translates into what I do. Because it’s a, it’s kind of a quick response industry. Yeah. Like you said, when things go wrong or anything, there is that you have to adjust too quickly. But then it also works in works well because you develop. You know, it’s, I think it works in many ways, the camaraderie of everybody working together, keeping it a little bit late, I’ve been in control rooms where things get very, very heavy and serious. And I feel like that’s a hard space within to function. Yeah. So it kind of, you know, that that kind of certainly helped. I think it’s just kind of always been even-tempered. Not very quick to fly off the handle. Right. So it’s almost like when I on the very rare occasion that I might get a little heated when things are, you know, when and that’s rare when things are just really going wrong. And you’re trying to kind of hold everything together. Right there, you know, but it almost makes it a little bit like okay, well. Matt’s getting mad about this so, you know, something’s really going wrong.


Angela Tuell  09:18

Yeah, yeah.


Matt Cwalina  09:19

So normally it’s more like, I kind of feel that while you’re doing television, whether it’s directing or teaching or whatever it is. Even anchoring, wouldn’t you know, and almost any part of it, when things are going wrong, and some things are just out of your control. You can’t dwell on these things. Like if you make it you were like, you know, if I make a mistake, yeah, if I’m dwelling on this mistake, well, then I’m going to mess up the rest of the show. Because, you know, if I’m sitting down to do an hour show, and I did I may be doing something wrong, eight minutes in. Well, if I’m dwelling on that, then I still have this much more of a show to do. And so I need to be in the moment and a few steps, actually, a few steps ahead of the moment. Like we can never kind of just rest on our laurels and enjoy what’s actually on the screen because we are already one to two to three steps ahead of what’s coming up next. As soon as we get into a voiceover with, you know, video on the screen micro-topping underneath, I’m looking ahead to see that my OTS shot is set up, and then there’s the chirons are in the right place in the rundown, and et cetera, et cetera. And the same thing with most, pretty much everybody that’s doing it. And even the anchors a little bit, there’ll be, there’ll be doing stuff, and then you get into a commercial break, or you get into a long, a long soundbite. And they might be tweaking something that’s coming up a few stories ahead of time.


Angela Tuell  10:56

I just I always thought the control room was such an exciting place to be, you know, the energy there.


Matt Cwalina  11:01

Yes. I’ve always loved it. I mean, I’ve worked. I’ve dabbled a little bit in here and there. And the news in the newsroom in terms. I haven’t actually worked in the newsroom. But I’ve worked very closely with producers and editors and stuff and anchors to develop ideas where I’m not doing any of the writing. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t cross that bridge. I might, you know, I’ve been in long enough that I can suggest things maybe. But I kind of stay out of that or how maybe how a graphic is being built to look on air, that I’ll get involved with that. Because I feel like that’s a visual thing that kind of falls under my domain a little bit because I want the show to look a certain way and to flow a certain way based on the content that the producer provides.


Angela Tuell  11:52

How did you get started in the field? I heard it involved teleprompters.


Matt Cwalina  11:57

Oh, yeah, I’m way back. If you pop in your DeLorean and head to 1999, I was about maybe a month or two from graduating college and my parents said something to the effect of like, Hey, okay, well, you can, you can do whatever you know, you’re going to be done. So you can get a job, doing whatever, that you need to get a job in your field that we just helped, you know, that we just sent you away for four years to explore. You can you know, you can get a job doing whatever you want. But if you do, you kind of, it’s not like we’re kicking your butt out of here, but it’s kind of like you’re on your own a little bit. Like, you know, we’re gonna you’re gonna get your own insurance or do this or just not going to get that much help but if you get a job in your field, then you know, maybe we can give you a little extra if you need it, which I did because –


Angela Tuell  12:53

Cause the field you chose. Right?


Matt Cwalina  12:55

Right. It wasn’t exactly what I didn’t slot into a lucrative position in order to buy all my Armani suits.


Angela Tuell  13:03

You should send us a photo of that by the way.


Matt Cwalina  13:06

Well, I’ll have to figure out how to use Photoshop first. But so yeah, sorry, got a job at WMDT 47. Well known by actually many people that I’ve known many people that I work with now there’s several of us that at one point worked at 47 It’s kind of weird. This industry is a weird small world but I got a job running prompter for I think it was $5.35 an hour. Part-time.


Angela Tuell  13:36

Was that above minimum wage at that point?


Matt Cwalina  13:38

I honestly think it was 10, I think it was 10 cents lower.


Angela Tuell  13:42

Okay, okay.


Matt Cwalina  13:43

I’m not sure about that. I didn’t do the legal legwork because I you know couldn’t afford to. So I started out you know, young kids doing that. It’s kind of like wow, I’m sitting here you know, running prompter even though it’s just doing prompter. It still to me? You know, there are yes, there are more, there are more technically more positions that have a little more technical involvement. But when you get right down to it like every position is necessary. So everything is just as important as the other to anchor the prompter is a vital living breathing thing. Yes, exactly. So either way so I was running prompter I had this when I was just talking about her at work earlier today that actually had a big oversized what looked like a video game joystick that I would push forward or slow down a little bit. Maybe go back a little bit to that kind of thing. Yeah. But that was the great part about 47 and working in your beginning your career at a lower market station. I was running prompter and then about maybe three months later I was already in the control room like learning how to do tape and audio and all this stuff and then within I don’t know a year I was, I think I was starting to do directing and weekend directing. So you move up, you move up, you move up, kind of I mean, depending on the circumstance, you usually move up quickly. But it gives you a chance to really do everything. And I think I still, I still hold 47, you know, as small and Podunk as the station as it may be. I must say that when I say that with love, because, exactly, I had a fantastic time where I loved working there, I still have several people, including you that I’m still connected with in some way. And it was just a fun atmosphere, we’re coming right out of college or working with other people that were also right out of college. So it’s a bunch of young people, and they’re just like, you put stuff on TV for us. It was,


Angela Tuell  15:47

It was great.


Matt Cwalina  15:48

And you really learned, you learn by doing,


Angela Tuell  15:51

You know, you’ve kind of mentioned it, that’s what I was going to ask about technology, and how its trained, and changed drastically since we began in TV. What have been some of the changes that have been positive, or, you know, maybe some that aren’t great, either, as you mentioned?


Matt Cwalina  16:05

Right. Well, the, the positive, I go immediately to just the, just the quality of, of the production, the, the technology is increased, so that the, you know, the graphics look better. And and the video, just the biggest thing for me is how the video looks, the cameras, and the video. And finally, you know, for transitioning from the four by three to a 16 by nine. And from SD to HD. from analog to digital, all those steps have been a great improvement and everything looks just you know, things look amazing. Yeah, these creative services departments design graphic packages that look fantastic.


Angela Tuell  16:56

They’re gorgeous. Right?


Matt Cwalina  16:57

Right. So the but then the, that therein lies the other side where this technology has gotten so great and so good and does so well that it can do these things, we can do some things, basically by itself. We use an Ignite automation system. So I have instead of having you know, three camera operators, and a video operator. A video operator is someone who works with the lighting grid. And shades, the cameras, and also the video operator, a person that’s actually rolling tapes. Someone who’s actually doing audio, this is kind of whittled it down itself down to literally one person.


Angela Tuell  17:42



Matt Cwalina  17:44

It takes away some of the creativity and some of the some of the stuff that you can do on the fly with ease is harder to do within an automated system. It’s kind of a double-edged sword, oh, this, this new stuff is so cool. And it works so well. And it looks great. But now, several jobs have disappeared because this stuff can do all that. I know, you know, it’s the same thing that happens to every industry everywhere, you know.


Angela Tuell  18:13

Yeah. And you also have more technical difficulties sometimes. I’m assuming, you know when you’re trying to talk to a machine, or other things happening that way, you know.


Matt Cwalina  18:21

Right, exactly. If our, the rundown system we use is called iNEWS. And so we have the Ignite, which is the automation system. And we have a separate system called Viz that provides the graphics. So if Viz isn’t talking to iNEWS then iNEWS can’t send what it needs to the, you know, the Ignite, or vice versa. Or if iNEWS isn’t talking to Viz rather than Viz can’t feed Ignite the graphics it needs and all of a sudden, “Hey, guys, we have no graphics.” Sometimes, you know, usually, no one at home notices, because most of the time we’re able to troubleshoot quickly enough. And again, sometimes we’re not. So you might be watching and thinking like, Oh, this looks you know, this looks weird, right? It’s something here, but I can’t read it. I can’t put my finger on it. And it might be the simple fact that the little font in the lower third of the screen is not there when it usually is, but you almost don’t even realize it at first. So yeah, if –


Angela Tuell  19:22

If you work in TV news, you’re watching others.


Matt Cwalina  19:25

when you work in TV news, I cannot – not only can I not watch the news, but no one can watch it with me. Because my, I’m not I’m like half paying attack attention to the content. And I’m paying attention to like, Oh, well that shots a little tight. Yeah, whoa, that was weird. That was weird. Like what I’m like, well, they started talking about the other video but it wasn’t up yet. But then it got you know, a few seconds later it got there but that font wasn’t up as quickly as the one as last time so they must be behind. You know, it’s kind of that kind of stuff. Which is just what I kind of enjoy It makes people bleed from the ears but I love it.


Angela Tuell  20:03

So your career is, so far, seems to be a little bit like a sandwich. You started in TV news, live TV news, and then went to sports. And then back to TV news. But what was your sports time like?


Matt Cwalina  20:16

It was great. That was another one that I loved. I was 47. Then I left for a year. And then I came back. And then for about another year, and then I left to go to Comcast SportsNet, which is now NBC Sports, Washington. And I worked there for 13 years. And that’s kind of, you know, that’s really where the 47 step was the, was the intro. And hey, you liked this, you should keep doing this. And then CSN really cemented it. For me. I loved, I loved doing it. I liked you know, I’m a sports fan. Anyway, the atmosphere was a little less intense, even though it was still – it was still intense. And I got to do a lot of different things. We did, you know, regular highlight shows like, you know, I can do Sports Center. We did sports talk shows we did the one thing I haven’t done, but I wanted to do his actual directing live games. I never did get to do that. But I got, I got to get pretty close to it. As well, as you know, just kind of anything. Any type of broadcast you can think about. We were doing.


Angela Tuell  21:26

Yeah. And you earn two regional Emmy Awards while you were there.


Matt Cwalina  21:30

Oh, I totally forgot to bring that up I was. Yes, yes, I did. And you know what, like, yes, they’re their regional Emmys. And I know a lot of people with them, but I don’t care because I got two.


Angela Tuell  21:42

Yeah, I mean, you’ve got them there. You’ve got to claim them.


Matt Cwalina  21:44

Right. It’s got my name. It says, Director next to it. If you scrape off the gold, there was no chocolate underneath. It’s a hot tip for you. They you know, they’re weighted. And they’re displayed, displayed prominently on one of my shelves at home.


Angela Tuell  22:00

I was going to ask where they are. In your living room?


Matt Cwalina  22:02

Oh, yeah. Yes, yes. There so that when you walk in my door, if you look straight ahead, you’re going to see them you’re not going to not, you’re not going to miss these things. And if you miss them, I’ll point them out.


Angela Tuell  22:13

I love it.


Matt Cwalina  22:15

That was very cool. And that was for a show called Redskin’s Kickoff. That was our pregame show. And we would, we had an actual set that was at Redskins Stadium at a gate. So we were doing the shows, I was in a live truck outside of, you know, one of the Redskins gates. As a Ravens fan, that was fun. But, we, but, you know, and so we have we had this big sense of there’s all these guys that were, you know, some of the cameras and working in a truck with a bunch of people. And then we would do the show. We would be done. Maybe we do a little halftime thing. And after the show, we do the post-game. And it was, it was again, one of those really fun things, especially when you’re a control room director getting out of a control room and getting to do things outside of that. You know, outside of that little comfort zone. I always loved going out to the live truck was whenever we would do those was really fun. And my producer a shout out to a guy named James Sibilia. He was one of the best producers I’ve ever worked with. Was a good control room marriage. And I got a couple of statues out of it. So I’ll take it.


Angela Tuell  23:25

Sounds good. Hey, you did tell us about some mistakes. Not necessarily don’t have to be yours. But that have been the most memorable. You know, maybe funny, although I’m sure they weren’t at the time.


Matt Cwalina  23:36

Well, see, the hard thing here, Angela, is finding a mistake that I’ve ever made.


Angela Tuell  23:41

Not yours. It could be someone else’s, right?


Matt Cwalina  23:43

Because they are constant. No, , the one the most memorable, I think, for me the most memorable control room moment, and I won’t mention his name. And hopefully, that doesn’t make anyone squirm. But I was we’re doing a Wizards pregame show, I believe, it was either pre or post, okay. And my producer wasn’t feeling very well. And so he’s, he’s talking and he thought and say, Oh, you must really not feeling well. I’m like, dude, we’ll just like, let’s just leave, like you have an associate producer that could potentially take over. We have other people that like, might be able to help and this is I think it was posted so we’re more just like, you know, we’re talking about game topics. So like this, you know, just if you need to step out, step out. Well, instead of stepping out, at one point, he leans over, grabs the trash can next to us, and bends over, away from me, thankfully. Bends over, throws up into the trash can, and then turns right back around and gets in our anchor ear. It was like we got Gilberto into sound. It was almost like mid-sentence. So he gets sick in the trashcan and he’s still going. I’m like, Dude – you gotta, you gotta get out. You gotta get out of here, buddy.


Angela Tuell  25:02

Yeah, you don’t want him to work through that. Right?


Matt Cwalina  25:04

Right, exactly. The work, the work ethic was so admirable. But also this is gross. Get out of the control room. Exactly. I think shortly after that, maybe, you know, maybe a minute or two later, I think we went to break and then he, he went out and he left. But then a few minutes later, he came just by himself, he came back in, finished the show, and then left. And then at some point, like, brought a brand spanking new clean trash can back into the room.


Angela Tuell  25:41

Well, I guess that’s a good thing. Right?


Matt Cwalina  25:42

No, that was fine, by the way, he was obviously he had a good work ethic. But he was also really, he was another really good producer that I worked with. He was very, very on point. Very, very dialed into what he needed to do and what he wanted out of the show. So much so that apparently it just made him violently ill.


Angela Tuell  26:02

Yeah. Wow. Wow. That’s a major one. I mean, there are lots of other smaller ones, like the wrong thing, you know, being spelled wrong on a lower third.


Matt Cwalina  26:12

There are all sorts of data where you put some new, sometimes we have a, you know, a lot of fonts that are blind reveals. So you don’t actually get to see them before they fly out onto the screen. And they fly out on the screen. They say something like, “Title goes here.” All right, well, you know, lose that because that’s not right.


Angela Tuell  26:31

And hopefully, it was so quick you couldn’t really…


Matt Cwalina  26:33

We try to get it down. Right. We tried to get it down quickly. And again, this is one of those moments where something like that happens, and you just have to kind of throw up your hands like Well, all right, we got that one out of the way. Let’s move on.


Angela Tuell  26:43

Yeah, yeah. So I know you’ve been in the midst of lots of breaking news as it’s happened. What are some of the events your news teams have covered and you’ve directed that are the most memorable?


Matt Cwalina  26:54

An amusing first one was actually at 47. And it was one of it was, it was this big news. And everybody was really excited about it, and Salisbury, Maryland. And back in you know, 99 or 2000. Everybody’s excited about it. We’re going to go live from here we’re going to have I think Tammy was our weather, meteorologist at the time, she’s going to go live from this place. And we’re going to have all the bells and whistles and keep going back to her. We’re going to show this, and we’re going to show that. It was the opening of a super Walmart.


Angela Tuell  27:25

I think that was before my time there.


Matt Cwalina  27:27

Yes, I believe it was. I think that Walmart was already there when you got built when you got there. But again, that’s a small market for ya. There’s only so much news sometimes. So we got excited about the big super Walmart and by the way, everything went well.


Angela Tuell  27:42

Good, good. Did you win an Emmy for that?


Matt Cwalina  27:46

No, we did not. I might have bought a plastic one from that Walmart. And I’m sure I went shopping there during my tenure in Salisbury. Love it. But the, 47 we also did a good one back then was when wrestling. I forget we kind of want to know I don’t think it was WWE, but it was definitely a big wrestling event that came through the civic center. And our sports guy was body slammed on camera.


Angela Tuell  28:14

Oh wow.


Matt Cwalina  28:16

Yeah, they did a you know a fake fight kind of thing. Right. So the wrestler body slammed ’em. As you know, obviously all of this was planned. But also, he was definitely, I think, walking a little gingerly.


Angela Tuell  28:30

Yeah, that’s definitely an action live shot. Like they always want, so…


Matt Cwalina  28:35

We’ve done a bunch of good stuff. We had us, one of my reporters right now is an avid roller coaster fan. So there’s a new roller coaster opening up, or new ride of some sort, that we had him on, on actually riding the ride live. At one point so that was cool. I did a for several years in a row I did coverage of the Marine Corps Marathon which was one of my absolute favorite things I did at Comcast SportsNet. We would do once a year go out there we get we would get out there. What kind of like my hours now we’d be there at three in the morning. We’d get everything set up. It’s this you know this gigantic, huge race through DC and we would do a lot of coverage. One of the coolest things was having a camera on a purse on the jumper. Oh wow. So they had a plane crossover. We had a GoPro kind of thing on it that we were getting the signal from and he jumped out of the plane and there we had, it was kind of going in and out. But it was still kind of neat having this you know this view of the guy actually jumping out of the plane and seeing you know having the camera attached to him. That was pretty cool.


Angela Tuell  29:50

So many great stories. You know, before we go I have to mention you are quite the chef and know a thing or two about beer and cigars. I do love seeing your social posts of the fabulous food you’ve made like the recent sushi with your son, or I’m getting some drink ideas. Have you always loved cooking?


Matt Cwalina  30:08

Yeah. Even more so as I’ve gotten older, but I always did the good, the weird combination kind of stuff. Very like I think I’m very like, my dad in that way. My dad likes to cook. And he I don’t, we don’t really, it’s not I get the idea of a recipe like the bare, the bare bones of a recipe. And then I mess with it to the point of I don’t know what it becomes, but it’s great.


Angela Tuell  30:33

And can you do it again? Can you replicate it?


Matt Cwalina  30:37

I can get pretty close. For, for the record, every time I’ve made any kind of stir fry, every stir fry. My daughter always says this is the best one you made. And then like two weeks later, I’ll make a stir fry. That’s that. It’s probably pretty darn similar, but I still get like no, I think that I think this is the one thing this is the better one. So maybe I should – I did buy a recipe book and I wrote down one recipe. And then I did not write anymore because I, I would forget. I would be cooking and then I would just do stuff and go oh, I don’t know how much you know that was that a pinch? Was it a clump? I don’t know for sure. But yeah, but it’s that’s the fun part. Though I love doing this and with the pandemic and all that that’s when I really started getting into it more. And I’m now completely addicted to cooking shows. Like I have – I just made a Facebook post the other day. I counted – 31 and a half hours of cooking shows on my DVR. So I’ll watch them in the morning at work I pause it. I’ll go do my show. Maybe later I have some downtime. I’ll go ahead and get ahead let’s go back to that Guy Fiari and see what else he’s making.


Angela Tuell  31:53

He would hate to see me in the kitchen. I don’t love to cook and I am like recipe exact.


Matt Cwalina  31:59

That’s kind of how my daughter is. You know, she kinda gets into it a little bit. But she’s constantly like, “Dad – How much of this?” I’m like, I don’t know, like a fist. I’m not really sure how I measured it.


Angela Tuell  32:11

She’s trying to learn from you. And she’s like, Wait,  I can’t.


Matt Cwalina  32:14

Right. It’s just how much salt? I don’t know. Just throw the salt somewhere near the pot. Long story short, yes. I’m I love it. I do, you know, I enjoy – got into craft beer, which was not my waistline isn’t a fan of the beer. But everything else likes it.


Angela Tuell  32:30

Yeah. What are some of your favorites?


Matt Cwalina  32:31

And I got into cigars years ago.


Angela Tuell  32:33

Oh, okay. What are some of your favorite breweries?


Matt Cwalina  32:37

Oh. Pretty much all of America.


Angela Tuell  32:44

You haven’t met one you don’t like?


Matt Cwalina  32:46

Yeah, that’s I mean, that’s, you know, you’re not far off. And if I’m going local, I live in Catonsville, Maryland, right, you’re right near Baltimore. Okay. So there’s a place called Sapwood Cellars in Colombia that’s fantastic. There’s a Black Flag. That’s also very good. To stereo. There’s a place in Baltimore called Independence Day, which I absolutely love. It’s up there on Falls Road. We have Union here. The Guinness Guinness, Open Gate Brewery, is also fantastic. That’s definitely you know, that that opening was nice because it kind of made the area a little bit more of a craft beer destination, because people’s like, oh, I want to go to the Guinness factory. And then while they’re here, they might kind of trickle into the other ones. But there are so many making so many good ones, including, I mean, I dabble in homebrew. So I’ve made like about a dozen batches myself. I’ve got a buddy, and a cousin, who are both like levels above me and make fantastic stuff too.


Angela Tuell  33:48

That’s awesome.


Matt Cwalina  33:49

It’s just like I said, it’s just it’s, it’s fantastic. But I don’t like buying new belts.


Angela Tuell  33:55

Right? That’s always the downside.


Matt Cwalina  33:57

You just gotta take breaks.


Angela Tuell  33:59

Maybe they can create diet beer, right?


Matt Cwalina  34:03

Unfortunately, my break from drinking beer is I’m gonna cook food. Well now I’m just right back in it, so…


Angela Tuell  34:08

Right, right. Well, if anyone listening, you can follow about the beer and cigars on Instagram. Tell us that handle.


Matt Cwalina  34:18

@Suds and stogies.


Angela Tuell  34:20

Thank you so much, Matt. It was so nice talking with you.


Matt Cwalina  34:23

It was really nice talking to you. I’m glad you’re doing this podcast. I can’t wait to listen to others, not just mine. But listen to the other ones you have as well. You know I’m hopping on there and punching that subscribe and everyone listens to this. Also, you should be hitting that subscribe.


Angela Tuell  34:41

Thank you and reviewing.


Matt Cwalina  34:42

Or follow or whatever. Yes and reviewing. I’m five stars-ing it up. If we’re not, then we’re gonna have, we’re gonna meet me and the people are gonna have problems.


Angela Tuell  34:50

Thank you, Matt.


Matt Cwalina  34:51

Thank you.


Angela Tuell  34:53

You can also follow Matt on LinkedIn @MCwalina and Facebook @MJCwalina. That’s all for this episode of Media in Minutes, a podcast by Communications Redefined. Please take a moment to rate, review and subscribe to our show. We’d love to hear what you think. You can find more at I’m your host, Angela Tuell. Talk to you next time.

Listen to today’s episode to hear Matt discuss all things behind the scenes in TV news with Angela.  A hard worker, jokster and connoisseur of craft beers and cigars, Matt dishes up some of his favorites.

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