Sally Thorner, co-anchor of the 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts on WMAR-TV (Channel 2), began maternity leave yesterday and will not return to the air until the end of June, a station spokeswoman said.
To fill in for Ms. Thorner, weekend anchor Mary Beth Marsden will move to the 5 p.m. weeknight newscast and former WBAL-TV anchor Rudy Miller will become weekend anchor.
Ms. Marsden will work alongside Stan Stovall on the early evening newscast until Ms. Thorner's return, said WMAR spokeswoman Maria Velleggia.
Ms. Thorner's baby, her first, is "due any day," Ms. Velleggia said.
Mr. Stovall will anchor the 11 p.m. newscast alone while the 6 p.m. newscast, co-anchored by Mr. Stovall and Beverly Burke, will remain unchanged.
Ms. Miller's three-month stint as weekend anchor will begin Saturday.
"I'm a little nervous," she said yesterday. "But I think it will be great fun again to get behind the anchor desk."
An anchorwoman at Channel 11 for nearly 10 years, she was fired in July 1989 after an acrimonious contract dispute. Since then, she has been hosting a daily talk show on WCBM-AM (680), publishing a monthly family magazine and doing a weekly "Rudy's Kids" segment on WMAR.
In January 1990, Ms. Miller filed suit against WBAL, charging the station illegally discriminated against her in wages and working conditions because she is a woman. Last November, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in what officials described as a groundbreaking suit, also filed a similar sex bias suit against WBAL.
WBAL has vehemently denied the charges.