WLRN Cans Anchor Phil Latzman and News Director Dan Grech

latzman.jpg
Phil Latzman
If you wake up to WLRN weekday mornings, you might have noticed a familiar voice missing from the airwaves. Last week, the Miami-Dade County School Board-owned public radio station fired anchor/reporter Phil Latzman after he allegedly stormed out of a training session. Latzman's departure follows the canning of news director Dan Grech two weeks ago. News staffers who spoke to Riptide on the condition of anonymity insist the departures do not indicate inner turmoil at WLRN, which has a partnership with the Miami Herald to produce content. And according to the blog Random Pixels, which first reported the firings, Latzman and Grech were let go for personnel reasons.

The blog claims a source at the station said Laztman was fired after storming out of a training session he had been instructed not to attend. He had protested a reduced newscast schedule to make time for the training session. According to Random Pixels' source, Latzman lashed out at interim news director Alicia Zuckerman. "Nobody likes you, and nobody wants to work with you!" Latzman allegedly yelled at Zuckerman.

Latzman follows Grech, who got the ax July 8. According to an email from WLRN's general manager, John Labonia: "Dan Grech is no longer with WLRN/Miami Herald News, effective immediately."

Grech oversaw a team of six radio reporters who were based out of the Miami Herald newsroom and was in charge of the entire news operation at WLRN. Their departures come on the heels of WLRN and the Herald announcing an expansion of the radio station's Latin America desk, anchored by former Time magazine correspondent Tim Padgett.

Neither Grech nor Latzman responded to requests for comment.

Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness.

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8 comments
formerlistener
formerlistener

That station is just not the same without Latzman. You can hear the difference in the news delivered, and in the Friday show he used to host. I'm not sure what they were thinking, but not having him on is enough for me to turn the station back to sports radio. It's a sad commentary when your local NPR station can be so bland.

melwilson
melwilson

I listen to WLRN, but that once-a-month Wednesday when they pre-empt regular NPR programming to broadcast those goddamn boring, droning School Board meetings to the 3 people in all of Dade who are tuned in to listen to those meetings.... well, that's just plain stupid programming.  The station has more listeners who want to hear NPR than listeners who give a shit about that tax dollar-thieving School Board.

shoreflight
shoreflight

Why should the Miami-Dade school board own a radio and TV station? You'd think with all the financial problems of the school system, a radio-TV enterprise should be a part of its bureaucracy. WLRN's news operation is180 degrees apart from the news at WNYC in New York. I call it the silly news. And WLRN takes daily shows off at will, as on Mondays, when it pre-empts On Point and The Takeway for a local program. This inconsistency never happens on NPR stations in New York and Philadelphia and other cities. Who are they fooling? 

aasdf
aasdf

Thanks, I had no idea WLRN (NPR) was paid for by Miami-Dade school board.



Barney Cox
Barney Cox

Never hire anyone with lip hair.

Richard Chinchilla
Richard Chinchilla

Wow...his voice will be missed. Hopefully, Phil's talents will be scooped up by NPR in another market.

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