"I trust him implicitly to serve as the voice of the county, and the citizens of Howard County are fortunate that he is spending the next stage of his impressive career right here," Ulman said.

Covering history

As a reporter and news director at WBAL, Miller covered several interesting high-profile stories.

As he reflected on his career, the first story he mentions is when the Baltimore Colts snuck out of town and moved to Indianapolis in 1984.


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"As a guy and a sports fan, that's a story that you cover where you instantly realize you're covering history," he said.

As exciting as covering the Colts move may have been, Miller also covered tragic events, such as the 1987 Amtrak crash in Chase that killed 16 people. At the time, it was the deadliest Amtrak accident ever.

Miller said the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., reminded him that it might have been the right time to leave the news business.

"You don't always want to be the conveyor of bad news," Miller said. "It wears you down."

Longtime WBAL reporter John Patti described Miller as very focused, intelligent and a very good lieutenant over the 27 years they worked together.

"He was always someone who knew exactly what had to be done," Patti said.

Now the co-host of WBAL's Maryland's News Now, Patti said Miller's retirement was a huge loss to the station, but he had trained the newsroom staff so well that it continued to run like a "well-oiled machine."

Specifically, Patti said Miller helped to guide and train newsroom staff through the evolution of the Internet and what it has become today.

"Mark had the vision to know that social media was the medium of the future," he said, referring to Facebook and Twitter.

Award-winning career

Miller started at WBAL during his senior year of college at Towson University (Towson State back then). After working for the station during the second semester of his senior year, he started fulltime at WBAL the day after graduation.

A Woodlawn native, Miller said a love of writing led him into the news business. With advice in 1979 that newspapers were being surpassed by television and radio, Miller chose radio.

Under Miller's leadership for 21 years, the WBAL news department garnered 21 National Edward R. Murrow Awards.

Miller is most proud of the three Overall Excellence Edward R. Murrow Awards, which designated WBAL Radio as the nation's best large-market radio news provider.

"It's never just about one person, it's about assembling a team and the team working well together," Miller said of the Murrow awards.

He added, WBAL " is probably one of the 10 to 15 most influential radio stations in the country. To be able to work at that place was great, and what really made it good, besides the ownership, was the people I worked with."

Pieter Bickford, a former WBAL reporter who earned a Murrow award working with Miller, said Miller was a boss who helped build confidence and knew what to look for in a story.

"I learned a heck of a lot from him," said Bickford, the executive producer and assistant news director at WHAG-TV, NBC's Hagerstown affiliate.