Hubbard Broadcasting’s top-rated all-newser WTOP-FM DC has canceled Mark Plotkin’s 10 AM “Friday Politics Program”. Some reports say he was fired, more than just a parting of the ways. Brand-new all-news competitor, CBS Radio’s WNEW-FM (which has been scooping up WTOP anchors and reporters) may have made him a high offer and WTOP did not counter. Also, it’s possible things went awry behind the scenes after the recent “screaming match” between Plotkin and Kwame Brown, chairman of the D.C. Council. But that happened following a segment on Fox 5 to discuss this week’s charges against Harry Thomas Jr. and other investigations in the District, not at WTOP. However, The Washington Post says two WTOP sources say that Plotkin’s behavior in the workplace is at the root of his separation from the station. On repeated occasions, say the sources, Plotkin has lashed out at fellow employees in ways that have disrupted the newsroom. One of the sources termed the explosions “a pattern.”
Jim Farley, WTOP’s vice president of news, says Plotkin has parted ways with the station “without rancor on either side.” Plotkin’s program will be replaced with an hour-long news show.
Previously, Plotkin worked at NPR affiliate WAMU-FM DC for two decades as a commentator and political host.
WTOP has issued the following statement: “We are cancelling the ‘Friday Politics Program’ effective immediately. WTOP and Mark Plotkin are parting ways. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
RBR-TVBR observation: WNEW ran a breaking news bulletin on 1/26 that “WTOP has fired Mark Plotkin.” Seems that’s a bit subjective reporting, unless, of course, more was confirmed from the inside.