Former WTMJ Reporter Falls From Grace, Finds New Career

By Kevin Eck 

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel media writer Duane Dudek caught up with Rob Koebel, the former WTMJ investigative reporter who left the station last year after getting caught urinating outside an Apple store last year.

Dudek found out Koebel is now a budding actor. He’s taken on character roles in USA Network’s “Necessary Roughness” alongside John Stamos and recently played a police officer, a firefighter and a Revolutionary War soldier on NBC’s “Revolution,” FOX’s upcoming series “Sleepy Hollow” and “Under the Dome” on CBS.

“I’d never have believed it if 10 months ago someone had told me I’d be part of a Stephen King-Steven Spielberg event that would be the hottest show of the summer,” Koebel told Dudek about his work on “Under the Dome.”


Koebel’s fall from local TV grace came when he was arrested after urinating outside an Apple store in Glendale, WI. Koebel became uncooperative with police, refusing to put away his cell phone and calling the officers derogatory names.

After quitting WTMJ, paying a $124 fine and paying for a broken police radio, Koebel moved to a facility in Greensboro, N.C., to be near family. He spent 90 days in rehab, now lives in a halfway house and is about to collect his 10-month sobriety chip from Alcoholics Anonymous.

While in North Carolina, he heard shows like the Showtime hit “Homeland” were being filmed in the area. He took a head shot to the casting office. While he didn’t get work on “Homeland,” he did find work on Cinemax’s show “Banshee” and HBO’s “Eastbound and Down.” He’ll also appear again on “Necessary Roughness,” this time as a cop.

“All these opportunities come from working the program and doing the right things,” he told Dudek, “life’s not perfect, it’s a hell of a lot better than it was when I left Milwaukee.”