The communications department at FLW underwent a major shake-up today as public relations director Chad Gay and veteran staffers Brett Carlson and Gary Mortenson were let go. The organization confirmed that Joe Opager, formerly a communications specialist under Gay, has been named the new PR director.
Julie Huber remains in charge of social media and Jody White will work alongside Opager in the PR department. FLW Bass editor-in-chief Colin Moore, managing editor Curtis Niedermier and staff writer Kyle Wood will handle website content and coverage.
FLW said it will not release an official statement on the changes and the organization declined to comment on the restructuring when contacted by BassFan.
Combined, the trio of Gay (8 years), Carlson (10) and Mortenson (12) had served FLW for 30 years.
Gay, reached by telephone, said he doesn't know why the organization opted to go in a new direction.
"All I can say is that I loved my time at FLW," he said. "I thank them so much for what they've done for me and I've only got good things to say about the years I spent there."
Carlson posted the following quote on his Facebook page: "I wanted to let everyone know I no longer work at FLW. It has been 10 good years and I have no regrets. No matter where I end up, fishing will always be an important part of who I am."
Opager becomes the fifth person to hold the top PR job in the organization since 2006, following Dave Washburn, Jeff McCoy, Andie Belfry and Gay. Washburn is now FLW's VP of operations, but the other three departed the company when they left the PR role.