Shari Elliker out as afternoon drivetime anchor on WBAL radio

GM Ed Kiernan says station "decided not to renew" her contract

August 27, 2011|By David Zurawik | The Baltimore Sun

Shari Elliker is out as afternoon drivetime anchor on the station's "News Journal" program, General Manager Ed Kiernan said Friday.

"After months of discussion, we have decided not to renew the contract of Shari Elliker," Kiernan wrote in an email.

"Shari has been an important part of the 1090AM/WBAL Radio family.  Whether called upon to be a Talk Show Host or PM Drive Anchor, her characteristic style of hard work, preparation and professionalism is admired by all of us. Thank you, Shari."

Elliker, who had served as host of a morning talk show at the station, became expendable when the station went to news in afternoon drivetime and moved veteran Ron Smith to a morning talk show.

The station is currently undergoing more change in the wake of the resignation of longtime news director Mark Miller last month.

Merrie Street was named news director earlier this week, along with Dave Hill adding the title of program director at WBAL to those same duties at sister station 98-Rock. Read that here.

It will be fascinating in coming weeks and months to see what happens at this landmark station. I have a sense that it is at one of those points in an institution's history where decisions are being made that could seriously affect its future.

I will be most interested in how WBAL covers politics -- whether it tries to be a down-the-middle provider of news and information or a partisan voice as it has been with such former shows as that of Kendel and Bob Ehrlich on Saturday mornings.

I wonder how audience members feel about the station these days and some of the changes.

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