Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Miami Herald's new publisher, Alexandra Villoch, is moving the paper a bit closer towards irrelevancy

Last week, Miami Herald publisher Alexandra Villoch told a TV reporter, "Miami is the brand, and we cover Miami."

She also said this: "We can transform and make an impact in our community."

Here's a suggestion, Ms. Villoch: Instead of covering what you call a "brand," and "impacting" and "transforming" the community - whatever the hell that means - how about getting back to the basics of covering the news in this town, and along the way, tell a few compelling stories?

Yesterday when Miami-based Burger King announced it was planning to acquire Canadian fast food company Tim Hortons for $11 billion, the Herald posted a story on its website a few minutes before 8 in the morning. But the story was one supplied by a wire service.

At least one reader noticed that the Herald hadn't bothered to assign its own business writer to a huge story taking place in its backyard.

Click to enlarge. 

How huge? The Burger King story made the front page of today's Wall Street Journal.

In this morning's paper the Herald was still using a wire service story that fails to mention that Burger King is a Miami-based company.

Click to enlarge. 

The Herald not covering Burger King is the same as the Seattle Times not covering Boeing or Microsoft, or the Atlanta Journal-Constitution not covering Coca-Cola ... unthinkable.

Meanwhile on the Herald's front page today there is a story about the relocation of plants and animals affected by the expansion of the Panama Canal ... a story, I'm sure, that everyone in Miami is talking about.

Another big story the Herald hasn't bothered covering is the brazen armed robbery that occurred last Sunday at the Hialeah Racetrack and Casino.

A lone gunman walked into an office - unseen by anyone except the victim - and a minute later walked out with $100,000 in cash.

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It used to be that something like a $100,000 robbery at a South Florida racetrack was considered front page news.

Miami News, Jan. 15, 1963. 

As you can see in the video above, Local 10's Christina Vazquez had no trouble putting together a story on the robbery with lots of detail, along with a bit of mystery and intrigue that sounds like something ripped from a movie script.

The best the Herald could do with the story was six sentences.

But cheer up. The Herald may no longer cover the news, but it still has a dance critic...and the always entertaining Fabiola Santiago.

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