Ex-WTMJ Reporter Rob Koebel: ‘My actions should be held to a higher standard’

By Merrill Knox Comment

Duane Dudek of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speaks with Rob Koebel, who recently resigned from WTMJ after a disorderly conduct arrest:

“My actions should be held to a higher standard,” the former WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) reporter said.

“I’m asking for the trust of the viewers” and, as a steward of the public trust, “I was a poor steward that night.”

Koebel said his “three-day drinking binge leading up to the arrest” was sparked by two interviews his former wife, HLN anchor Christi Paul, did about her recently-published book, Love Doesn’t Have to Hurt. The book is her account of what she says was an emotionally abusive marriage to Koebel.

In the book, she calls the husband Justin, but Koebel said “it’s pretty clear in her writing and on her Wikipedia page” that it’s him. “It’s pretty apparent, at least for people in the industry. I get hate mail, so it’s hard not to figure out.”

The pair have been divorced for 17 years. In an email, Koebel called the book “accurate to a degree and, then again, very misleading.” He said the book “destroyed my life.”

He was “very hurt she would share my alcoholism on TV,” including in an appearance on Drew Pinsky’s show on HLN.

Kobel said his next steps will be dealing with his alcohol problem, which he said “has plagued me my entire life.”