Monday, September 20, 2010


Maybe someone at the Herald is paying attention after all.

Here is an interesting memo written by Herald reporters worried about the direction their newspaper is taking.

Want to do some real reporting and regain the trust of your readers and the community at large?

Five story suggestions for you:

1. Look into the dirty dealings at the CRA, DDA, and other "quasi" City agencies like our pals over at Investigation Miami have done.  How does an under-qualified former golf pro get to make over $200,000 in salary and benefits after becoming close with Chairman Sarnoff?

2. Ask Mayor Regalado how did his former Chief of Staff Tony Crapp, Jr., get promoted to City Chief of Operations, going from a salary of around $67,000 a year in 2007, to making $140,000 plus benefits?  What qualifications does Mr. Crapp, Jr., have and if he was so instrumental in running the mayor's office, why has he not been replaced?

3. Chairman Sarnoff has been accused of violating City Code and mortgage fraud.  Other newspapers have reported on this.  Why is the Herald silent?

4. Why does Mayor Regalado allow lobbyist Armando Gutierrez to basically run City Hall, so much so that a contract was rebid when Mr. Gutierrez' clients were not chosen, the procurement director was replaced with an FDOT lacky, and the contract rebid out of CIP where more FDOT lackeys control the process.  Also ask them how many intersections will have red light cameras to make up the $8 million in projected revenue and whether the state and county have signed off on placements.

5. Investigate the internal divisions at the City of Miami police department where several ran and file members are disgusted with the politicizing of the department under Chief Exposito and how merit no longer gets you promoted, but political ass kissing does.


Herr Czarnoff said...

...and speaking of the Police Department, why is Chairman Sarnoff, a Commissioner representing D2 spending so much time at the Miami Police Department talking to the Internal Affairs Department. What is he doing over there. Who is he going after now?

Anonymous said...

The Herald should investigate the massive pay and benefits at the CRA and at the DDA. These are part-time jobs yet political hires are getting $80,000 to $250,000 pay packages.

The DDA Director with no previous experince with economic development gets a $250,000 per year pay package yet she only leaves her office to attend political meetings. Downtown is still a dump.

Who is protecting the taxpayers?

Anonymous said...


I read the memo placed in the Miami Herald internal message system and whole heartedly agree with the reporters' stated positions. The Miami Herald have lost their identity and are trying to find their way back to its readership. Times have changed where offerings of different types of medium in the public stream allows for readers to read [or hear] the same story reported by the Miami Herald from other news outlets. For example, 20 years ago the public did not really have a choice to either pick up the newspaper or visit a website (i.e. local media-Channel 10, 7, 6, 4, etc.) to read/hear the news. These aforementioned news outlets not only report the news in a written format on their webpage, but provide stream videos of the news story itself. If personal readership habits have changed, then the Miami Herald must make a business decision. The Miami Herald is a conglomerate and should be using its' conglomerate to provide different types of medium for different types of readers. In doing so, they can share the same resources, but preserve and protect what should be sacred , the "newspaper".

The Miami Herald , considered to be one of the major newspaper in our nation, should not be diluting or ignoring the news story that should be reported in the front page to provide print space for "entertainment or gossip" related stories. Historically, newspapers or better stated, the "Press" have served a critical role in our country to report the abuse and misuse of power by politicians and government at the federal, state, and local levels.

If the likes of the Chuck Rabin's of the world would like to garner the public respect and support, then he should be writing and reporting the news and submitting to his editor to publish no matter how many times the editor decides not to print it. But deciding not to write and report the news, despite what is going on internally in the Miami Herald with its upper management is really no different than what is going on in the City of Miami and other local governments (i.e. Miami-Dade County, Public Health Trust). This is the equivalent of not putting anything in writing and looking the other way.

Thus, this is a direct message for Chuck Rabin. Chuck you have benefited from the very fact that the Sunshine Laws and the Public Records Act have giving you access to certain memos, letters, emails, documents, etc. to make you understand what is going in local government. So why not indoctrinate the same rule while performing your job at the Miami Herald, so "we the people", your readership (who also pays your salary -in the same fashion the way pay the salaries of government employees- by either buying the paper directly or indirectly by your demographically targeted advertisers) can understand that your non-actions of not reporting the news has nothing to do with your relationships with certain politicians, but the choices being made by your upper management at the Herald.

If the Herald management decides not to reasonably hear and act on the concerns of its reporters, then let this be a message to the Herald management. Even though your readers have not formally voiced the very same concerns as shared by your reporters, take a look at your numbers, such as, numbers of newspaper sales, advertising revenue, numbers of visitors to your webpage, etc. WE HAVE ACTED AND DECIDED! YOUR TURN!

I like the guy! said...

The DDA Director with no previous experience with economic development....

But Sarnoff finds him 'handsome' and a 'handfull'!

Al Crespo said...

Dear Anon,

Unfortunately, newspapers do not operate the way you describe. Reporters either are assigned stories to cover, or they present story ideas to editors. If the editors say no, then the reporters don't write the stories.

Reporters do not have the luxury to write stories in the hopes that they can change editors minds.

I've heard from a reliable source that Rabin has presented numerous story ideas and his editor has just said no.

Editors act as gatekeepers, and clearly Rabin's editor seems to have barricaded the road with no's.

Anonymous said...

Who is Rabin's editor?

Anonymous said...

The DDA Director is a woman. She used to work at DERM doing paperwork stuff. At the DDA she kisses butt to keep her pay checks...

the new director at the CRA has no experience either.

Anonymous said...


If Chuck Rabin can demonstrate written proof of this, then he can change some of the minds of the readers. Without this, it will only be construed merely talk by Chuck so he can protect his reputation as a reporter who has integrity. His integrity right now is being questioned and most readers feels he is trying to now distance himself from what appears to be the obvious- he is bed with these sleezy politicians.

I'm hearing from city employees that Chuck can't be trusted. Too many materials and information have been given to him, but has gone unreported or distorted in his articles. It has gotten to the point, that he does not deserve the benefit of the doubt any longer.

Chuck- once again this is a direct message to you. Provide to Investigation Miami or Take Back Miami some of your suggested articles that have been turned down by the Editor.

Anonymous said...

Didn't she also work at the CIP?

Anonymous said...

New DDA director.
30 years at the County.
We know how much they make for no-show jobs?

Al Crespo said...

I'm not able to comment on Chuck Rabin's trustfulness, having never met him. And neither can I attest to what specific stories he pitched to his editor. I was just trying to explain how the city room at a newspaper works.

I would say though that Rabin knows how to write, and has a track record for writing good stories in the past,so I would give him the benefit of the doubt for the most part.

There is a benefit for a good reporter to become too attached to people like Regalado and Sarnoff, no matter what some on this blog might think.

If you're a good reporter, you want to see you name affixed to a hard-hitting story, and not to a piece of fluffy PR.

Al Crespo said...

Correction...I meant to say, There is NO benefit for a good reporter to become too attached....

Anonymous said...

The Herald is out for itself. The mega billboard deal is only the latest ($190 million for McClatchy). Look at how Tony Ridder handled the negotiations for the American Airlines Arena (The herald had to sue itself to get public records, the public got screwed). Or, the reporting on the Marlins stadium, or go back to the fifties when the herald wanted to put its printing press on the bay. Compare Defede's reporting to today's. (or Mike Vasquez's skeptical coverage of Miami). They can only do what management lets them. You don't have to be Woodward or Bernstien, city employees are turning over information faster than you can read it. But, why report when they only print drivel? Who reads the herald anyway? Whether its Chuck or his bosses they are irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

I have one that some may find a touchy subject. When you fail to mention that the perpetrator's of a horrible crime are illegal aliens
for whatever reason, I feel that I'm being deceived and reading the paper is a waste of time.
It's not supposed to be all the news we feel you need to know!