The mystery of “Bad” Brad Wheeler’s abrupt departure from community radio station KRCL has still not been completely explained to listerners, volunteers and donors. But it only expands with news that Station Manager Vicki Mann has left the station.
Mann, see by many as Wheeler’s nemesis, resigned June 30, KRCL Board Chairman Chip Luman confirmed Tuesday. Mann’s departure had nothing to do with the Wheeler controversy, Lumen maintains, but he confirmed she does not have another job.
KRCL’s listener community was shocked in early June when Wheeler, the iconic on-air host of Little Bit Louder, announced he was resigning. Wheeler offered no explanation and social media posts filled the information gap.
A petition was launched to urge KRCL management to bring Wheeler, a radio icon, back. Others posters complained it was part of a long-term management conspiracy to make KRCL more mainstream. Some Facebook posters threatened to stop their financial-support pledges or volunteer commitments.
Wheeler declined to comment, but reportedly is interviewing for other jobs.
Mann said at the time KRCL did not fire or force Wheeler out and he never gave a reason for his resignation, “I don’t know the answer to why Brad has an issue with the station. No policies related to programming have changed.”
Luman put a positive spin on the staff changes, saying KRCL plans to hire a program director, which the station did not have, along with a new general manager and an afternoon host to replace Wheeler. When assembled, the new staff will make programming decisions based in part on a survey of 1,700 people done last spring.