From the Z on TV blog:

WBAL-TV Monday answered one of the bigger questions of Baltimore media 2011: Who will replace Oprah in Channel 11's afternoon lineup?

The answer is Ellen DeGeneres, according to Jordan Wertlieb, WBAL's general manager.

During her long run in syndication, Oprah Winfrey had determined early evening news ratings at local stations from coast to coast and made billions of dollars for stations carrying her talk show, which ends this May. Her 4 p.m. time slot at station's like WBAL is one of the most important in all of television.

WBAL's new afternoon lineup starting after Labor Day will feature Anderson Cooper's new talk show at 2, followed by Dr. Oz at 3 and Ellen at 4, Wertlieb said.

"Ellen has shown continued growth in her time period, and she is the natural successor to that coveted 4 o'clock time period," Wertlieb said Monday in a telephone interview.

The changeover will be a big one with the potential to alter news standings in the late afternoon and early evening ratings in Baltimore.

It looks at this point like WBAL has a winning combination lined up.