Sunday, February 02, 2014

WLRN / Miami Herald News - A progress report

Last November, the Miami Herald's Nancy Dahlberg reported on "leadership changes" at the school board-owned radio station WLRN.

In her piece, Dahlberg quoted the WLRN's general manager, John Labonia:
“We are expanding the collaboration with the Miami Herald, we are going to bring news into WLRN television, we are going to be launching a morning show on radio that will run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., a South Florida version of Morning Edition,” he said.

"New studios downtown [at WLRN] and in the Miami Herald’s Doral office are under construction," Dahlberg reported.

So how's that "collaboration" working out? And, more importantly, how are those "new studios" coming along?

I'm told that there were two studios in the old Herald building with live capability.

However, 8 months after the Herald's move to Doral, the "new" studios that "were were supposed to be completed last July/August, then by November/December, are not ready," according to a source.

Anything live now has to be been done at WLRN's downtown studios. Some people do work out of Doral some days but there is no live capability.

Meanwhile, back at the downtown WLRN building, this is what the brand-new, state of the art Miami Herald/WLRN studios look like:

The station has already bought all the equipment and computers. But it's all been sitting in an office in boxes for 12 months. 
The photo is of offices vacated 16 months ago. But nothing has been done. 
Meanwhile, a source tells me "the 5 fully-functional radio studios are falling apart and [WLRN general manager John] Labonia won't pay to upkeep or repair anything. Nothing.

"Also, everybody is being shifted around and out of their offices to make room for this. Labonia already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for the equipment that sits in boxes. And they were building another whole set of radio studios at the Doral location of the Miami Herald that were supposed to be completed July/August 2013."

In other WLRN/Miami Herald news, it appears they've pretty much thrown in the towel when it comes to keeping their podcasts up to date.

Note to WLRN listeners: Bookmark this page and refer back to it during the station's next pledge drive.


Random Pixels: With 'Friends' like these....

Random Pixels: And now...a little bit about the Miami Herald's cozy relationship with radio station WLRN

Nieman Journalism Lab: A partnership too valuable to give up: Why The Miami Herald and WLRN are sticking together.


  1. Guess they spent all the money on fundraising.

  2. Doral is a terrible location. I had to drive there yesterday for a meeting and it took me 2 hours from North Miami. This was AFTER the 8-9am rush hour. Traffic patterns in Doral are abysmal. I'm not sure why anybody would live there or work there. It really is easier to get to downtown than it is to get to Doral.

  3. Is this fundraising phenomenon unique to South Florida public broadcasting or is it the norm around the country. That's a good followup to this story.


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