Connect with us


Rob Lorei says he won’t challenge WMNF termination

Bill DeYoung



Rob Lorei. WMNF photo.

Terminated by WMNF-FM after 43 years, news and public affairs director Rob Lorei said Tuesday that he has no plans to contest general manager Rick Fernandes’ decision.

“For the sake of the station I’m not going to fight it,” Lori said in a written statement to the Catalyst, adding that he “disagrees” with the move. Neither Lorei nor Fernandes have commented publicly as to why Lorei was fired from the listener-supported station he helped found in the late 1970s.

Lorei confirmed that he and Fernandes last spoke on Friday, the day the termination was announced on the WMNF website.

“The GM plans to make some big changes and take the station in a new direction,” Lorei said. “Let’s hope WMNF succeeds.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished for the past 43 years. For all that time the station has been financially secure, we opened the airwaves to thousands of new voices and made a positive impact in the community. Trying to keep my job now would just further divide the factions in the station and not be helpful.

“The WMNF listeners, volunteers, staff and board have made WMNF a role model for the country. And my hope is that WMNF will continue to be sustainable, committed to the original mission and have much success in the future.”

Lorei was fired in 2019 by then-station manager Craig Kopp, but reinstated after a public outcry.

Calls to Fernandes for comment were not immediately returned.

Continue Reading


  1. Avatar

    David Varney

    July 11, 2021at11:12 am

    Missing too much of the good stuff after listening for 40 years appears to be going down the old radio tube

  2. Avatar

    Paul M

    July 8, 2021at8:21 pm

    WMNF is one of only a few stations voicing my world view. For now, I think it’s extremely important to support her. I too am a long time Rob fan and am sorry he’s no longer there, but remember the station still has Rob’s well wishes. To me they’re still on point.

  3. Avatar

    Donald Graham

    June 13, 2021at10:49 am

    The station is headed in a new direction – get ready for commercials, profit margins and less neighbourhood

  4. Avatar

    tammy smith

    May 20, 2021at5:22 am

    I am upset too I don’t have the words. No loyalty to a dedicated person. SAD

  5. Avatar

    Alison Price

    May 11, 2021at2:56 pm

    I just found out 2 days ago..may 8th or 9th and am very upset about this. Rob was the reason I got on the station every day at 11 (for radioactivity). I have followed him and the station for decades.

    I considered Rob the heart of the station..along with Randy for years..and cannot imagine who thinks this is a good idea to remove someone so beloved to so many of us and with such a wonderful unique manner of treating people who called in.

    I hope your reasons were strong enough to justify this and somehow I doubt this. My respect for the station has just gone downhill and I started listening in 1980.

  6. Avatar

    Michael A

    May 5, 2021at2:04 pm

    I was shocked, disappointed, and distraught to hear of Rob’s firing. I’ve tried to research why he was fired but have been unable to find out why. I have cancelled my Circle of Friends membership and have stopped listening. I feel as though I have lost a friend however I can’t support the station I good conscience.

  7. Avatar


    May 4, 2021at11:10 am

    Wow this was done in so much secrecy, we will miss you Rob!

  8. Avatar

    Eugene Clifford Grim

    April 20, 2021at1:25 pm

    It’s terrible that such an outstanding figure in local news has to be treated so poorly – not once, but twice! Didn’t Fernandes learn anything from Kopp’s fiasco? People care about the personalities and talents who inform and enlighten them. Couldn’t his termination have been done with a little openess, and a whole lot of respect?

    I’ve been listening to Rob for the twenty years I’ve lived here, and a bond of trust gets formed. He created that. Thanks, Rob. May you find a more appreciative home soon!

  9. Avatar

    Scott Cotgreave

    April 16, 2021at8:47 pm

    Not a good day for democracy.

  10. Avatar

    Sharon Delaney

    April 15, 2021at4:00 am

    I miss Robs’ voice,especially Radioactivity. Wmnf helped me through difficult times. I am reconsidering my circle of friends membership. There’s a possibility wmnf turns into iheart. Disgusting!

  11. Avatar


    April 14, 2021at10:30 am

    I had lunch everyday with Rob , I will miss him . I only hope the people above know what they are doing to this station . It is looking like the real world letting the good people go and keeping the cheap young ones with no history of how it all started . Rob if you read this I hope all you want will be at your fingertips

  12. Avatar

    Kevin Flankey

    April 13, 2021at3:06 pm

    It would be wonderful if Rob is able to take his show to WUSF! I hope they are in communication with him. He is a unique talent, frankly, dedicating his life to this form of public service.

  13. Avatar

    Mike Connelly

    April 13, 2021at12:37 pm

    Meet the new boss Same as the old boss. Fernandes and Kopp.

    Management, like trees, die first at the the top.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By posting a comment, I have read, understand and agree to the Posting Guidelines.

The St. Pete Catalyst

The Catalyst honors its name by aggregating & curating the sparks that propel the St Pete engine.  It is a modern news platform, powered by community sourced content and augmented with directed coverage.  Bring your news, your perspective and your spark to the St Pete Catalyst and take your seat at the table.

Email us: spark@stpetecatalyst.com

Subscribe for Free

Share with friend

Enter the details of the person you want to share this article with.