Kendel Ehrlich leaving WBAL

WBAL Radio confirmed Friday that Kendel Ehrlich is leaving the station and will be replaced Saturday mornings on air by Clarence Mitchell IV starting Saturday.

Both general manager Ed Kiernan and news director Mark Miller characterized the move as something Ehrlich had been considering at least since the election in November that saw her husband, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., defeated by Martin O'Malley in the governor's race.

Miller and Kiernan said Ehrlich was making the move in an effort to spend more time at Saturday sports events involving her family.

Ehrlich, who also regularly appeared on a weekly roundtable show Friday afternoons on the station, will no longer be part of that group for the immediate future, Miller said. He added, however, that she had an invitation to be one of several guests who will be involved in the roundtable as the station works to expand the participants and rebrand it as a "stand-alone show." If she does appear on that show, it would not be until February, according to Miller.

When asked whether Ehrlich's leaving the station had anything to do with WBAL newsroom staffers pressing her husband for comment on the Election Day robocalls made by a consultant working for his campaign, Miller said, "No, not at all."

Ehrlich had been on his wife's show at least twice since the election, and each time he declined to answer questions from WBAL Radio about the robocalls.

On Dec. 10, WBAL-TV investigative reporter Jayne Miller tried to question him when he came to the station to pick her up after a Friday afternoon appearance, and he and his wife stormed out of the building.

Kendel Ehrlich hosted the Saturday show only once after that.

In offering what he described as a "little perspective," Miller said discussions about the future of Saturday mornings at WBAL "predated the election."

Until July, when Ehrlich became a formal candidate for governor, he and his wife co-hosted the show, a situation that created some dispute because he was raising money and openly running against O'Malley before his candidacy was officially announced. Democrats viewed the show as partisan and anti-O'Malley, with some calling it a "two-hour campaign commercial" for Ehrlich.

Mitchell's show will air from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturdays. It will be live — not a replay of his weekday show.

david.zurawik@baltsun.com

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