Rhea Feikin to retire in early 2020
Maryland Public Television announced on October 16 that Rhea Feikin, a fixture on television in Maryland since the 1960s and a mainstay on MPT over the past 40-plus years, will retire at the end of February 2020. Plans are underway at the statewide public TV network for salutes and tributes to Rhea in 2020.
“Rhea’s retirement brings to a close a remarkable career that spans more than four decades and that won her fans and admirers across Maryland and beyond our state borders,” said Larry D. Unger, MPT president and chief executive officer. “We will all certainly miss her at MPT, but she’s leaving behind an impressive legacy.”
Often dubbed the "First Lady" of Maryland Public Television owing to her more than 40-year tenure and her on-air presence in a variety of local productions, Rhea Feikin is a Baltimore native who earned her bachelor's degree in speech pathology from the University of Maryland where she was active in university theater. She appeared in productions ranging from Hasty Heart to Wonderful Town and participated in two overseas tours to U.S. Air Force bases from Iceland to the Azores. Upon graduation, she was the recipient of the Hale Award for the outstanding drama student.
After a short stint as a speech therapist for the Baltimore City Schools, she began her career at WBAL-TV, first with an educational program, Betty Better Speech, and then with a children's program, Miss Rhea and Sunshine, in which she not only appeared but for which she also served as writer and producer. She later went on to do the weather report and hosted a game show for the Maryland Lottery.
A Tribute to Rhea
After leaving WBAL, Ms. Feikin began her freelance career. Her first job at Maryland Public Television was on Consumer Survival Kit, an MPT production that aired during the 1970s. She has served as host for other MPT productions including Artworks This Week and MPT On Location. She currently hosts the station's on-air membership drives, anchors MPT's Artworks program, and serves as host of Chesapeake Collectibles.
Ms. Feikin's voice is frequently heard on radio and TV commercials, and she appears on-camera for corporate videos and television commercials.
She has served on the boards of the Baltimore School for the Arts, the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation, and the Baltimore County Adult Education Committee. She was a founder of Baltimore's Center Stage in 1963.
Ms. Feikin was the recipient of the Women in Film and Video's Charm City Award; was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle in recognition of her contributions to the broadcast community; and she was named to Maryland's Top 100 Women by the Daily Record newspaper.
She received an MPT Walk of Fame star as permanent recognition of her years of service with distinction to public television and the greater Maryland community.