Mark Plotkin quit speaking to me about 15 years ago. I had done something to cross him, he thought. It was a mystery to me. Whatever it was he thought I had done made him angry. If we saw each other in a public place, he would ignore me or say something disparaging.
What had I done? Why was Plotkin so angry? What provoked his rage?
Only Plotkin can answer those questions, but sources say it was rage that did him in as political analyst at WTOP. He had been hosting the weekly Politics Program With Mark Plotkin every Friday for the past decade. Jim Farley, WTOP vice president of news and programming, met with Plotkin yesterday and gave him his walking papers.
For the record, Farley said, “We’ve decided to part ways. We met for 45 minutes. There was no rancor.”
No one else would speak on the record, but a variety of sources at WTOP told me Plotkin’s demise had to do with his repeated outbursts of anger at the radio station.
Plotkin would “drop the F-bomb” regularly, one staffer reported.
WTOP valued Plotkin as the foremost political analyst on local matters, and the station sent him to anger-management classes, sources say. Still, the outbursts continued.
Fellow employes started to complain. The matter was bumped up to the station’s human-relations department. Bosses talked to Plotkin repeatedly. In the end, Plotkin’s own pattern of behavior did him in.
Farley is telling people that WTOP’s political coverage will not suffer, but Plotkin was unique. Despite whatever anger issues he might have had, he is one of the preeminent analysts on politics in Maryland, Virginia, and the District. He knew every player and had access to every state house.
Plotkin is irreplaceable. I would tell him, but he’s not talking to me.