Joe Henderson: The other shoe drops as GM Craig Kopp leaves WMNF radio
The inevitable at WMNF radio in Tampa became reality Monday. General Manager Craig Kopp resigned, effective immediately, and no one possibly could be surprised.
Before he left, though, Kopp got a lot of things off his chest in an angry letter about the controversial firing and subsequent reinstatement of WMNF News and Public Affairs Director Rob Lorei.
We’ll get to that in a moment, but first some background.
Kopp fired Lorei on February 18, but the board of directors brought him back after a public outcry. Realistically, it had no choice. Lorei remains an icon at the station he co-founded 41 years ago and is its face to WMNF’s listeners. They are fiercely loyal to the eclectic, commercial-free, community radio station.
Those listeners help keep the station afloat through pledges, which dropped off dramatically after Lorei’s firing. The number was at least $30,000 and likely would have kept increasing unless Lorei returned.
Therein lies the tale, and it led to one of the strangest episodes in local media history.
Kopp said Lorei “been cited for insubordination and had proved to be unmanageable.”
Kopp followed station policy to the letter by keeping the board informed of step