The July 27, 2005 front page of
The Miami Herald
|Owner||The McClatchy Company|
|Headquarters||1 Herald Plaza
Miami, Florida 33132
The Miami Herald is a daily newspaper owned by The McClatchy Company headquartered in Downtown Miami's Media and Entertainment District, Florida, United States. It primarily serves Miami-Dade, but it is also the main newspaper in Monroe County, and circulates throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
The newspaper employs 800 people in Miami and across several bureaus, including Bogotá, Managua, Tallahassee, Vero Beach, Key West, and shared space in McClatchy's Washington bureau. Its newsroom staff of about 450 includes 144 reporters, 69 editors, 69 copy editors, 29 photographers, five graphic artists (not including page designers), 11 columnists, six critics, 48 editorial specialists, and 18 news assistants. In June 2009, The Miami Herald announced widespread layoffs in June 2008, with plans to cut 250 full-time jobs -- 17 percent of the newspaper's workforce.
The newspaper has been awarded 21 Pulitzer Prizes since beginning publication in 1903. Well-known columnists are Pulitzer-winning political commentator Leonard Pitts, Jr., humorist Dave Barry and novelist Carl Hiaasen. Other columnists include Ana Menendez, Fred Grimm, Edwin Pope, and Robert Steinback. David Landsberg is the publisher, and Anders Gyllenhaal is the executive editor.
The newspaper averages 88 pages daily and 212 pages Sunday. The Herald's coverage of Latin American and Hispanic affairs is widely considered among the best of U.S. newspapers.
The Herald also operates Politifact Florida, a website that focuses on the truth about Florida issues; the site is jointly-operated with its partner newspaper, the St. Petersburg Times, which created the Politifact concept. The Herald and the Times share resources on news stories related to Florida.
The first edition was published September 15, 1903, as The Miami Evening Record. After the recession of 1907, the newspaper had severe financial difficulties. Its largest creditor was Henry Flagler. Through Frank B. Shutts as its publisher, who was also the founder of Shutts & Bowen, Mr. Flagler acquired the paper and renamed it The Miami Herald on December 1, 1910. However, it is not Miami's oldest newspaper. The Tropical Sun, established in 1891, was the first, followed by The Miami Metropolis in 1896 (Update, Vol. 10, Num. 3, August 1983, Miami: Historical Association of Southern Florida, p. 13), The Miami Metropolis was later renamed The Miami Daily News, then simply the Miami News. The Miami News was The Miami Herald's longest competitor until 1988 when it went out of business.
During the Florida Real Estate Boom for thirteen months in 1925 and 1926 The Miami Herald was the largest newspaper in the world as measured by lines of advertising. At this time the newspaper was owned by financiers Henry Carnegie Phipps and John Shaffer Phipps of New York City. The Phipps' sold the newspaper in 1939 after the Florida economy experienced an extreme decline.
The Herald came close to receivership but recovered in the 1930s.
On October 25, John S. Knight, son of a noted Ohio newspaperman, bought The Herald from Frank B. Shutts. Knight became editor and publisher and made his brother, James L. Knight, the business manager. The Herald had 383 employees.
The Herald won its first Pulitzer Prize in 1950, for its reporting on Miami's organized crime. Its circulation was 176,000 daily and 204,000 on Sundays.
On August 19, 1960, construction began on the present Herald building on Biscayne Bay. Also on that day, Alvah H. Chapman, started work as James Knight’s assistant. Chapman was later promoted to Knight-Ridder chairman and chief executive officer. The Herald moved into its new building at One Herald Plaza without missing an edition on March 23-24, 1963.
In 2003, The Miami Herald and El Universal of Mexico City created an international joint venture, and in 2004 they together launched The Herald Mexico, a short-lived English language newspaper for readers in Mexico. Its final issue was published in May 2007.
As of 2004, The Herald was the country's 24th-largest newspaper, with a Sunday circulation of 447,326, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
On July 27, 2005, former Miami city commissioner Arthur Teele walked into the main lobby of the Miami Herald headquarters, dropped off a package for columnist Jim DeFede, and told a security guard to tell Miami Herald columnist Jim DeFede to tell his wife Stephanie he 'loved her' before pulling out a gun and committing suicide by one shot to the head. His suicide happened the day the Miami New Times, a weekly newspaper, published salacious details of Teele's alleged affairs, including allegations Teele had sex and used cocaine with a transsexual prostitute. At the time, Teele was being investigated by federal authorities for fraud and money laundering for allegedly taking $59,000 in kickbacks to help a businessman get millions of dollars in contracts at Miami International Airport. The IRS also had an ongoing investigation of Mr. Teele. Teele was suspended from his job in 2004 by Gov. Jeb Bush after being arrested for trying to run a police officer off the road. Teele was also charged in December 2004 with 10 counts of unlawful compensation on charges he took $135,000 from TLMC Inc., and promised they would be awarded lucrative contracts to redevelop neighborhoods in Miami. Teele was also found guilty in March 2005 for threatening an undercover detective.
Shortly before committing suicide, Teele had a telephone conversation with Jim DeFede. DeFede recorded this call without Teele's knowledge. Under Florida law, it is illegal to secretly tape a call when a speaker has an expectation of privacy. Following the shooting, DeFede admitted to Herald management that he taped the call and acknowledged that it was a mistake. Although the paper used quotes from the tape in its coverage, editor Tom Fiedler and publisher Jesus Diaz fired DeFede the next day. Fiedler argued that DeFede had violated the paper's code of ethics and was likely guilty of a felony. Many journalists and readers of the Herald disagreed with the decision to fire rather than suspend DeFede, arguing that it was made in haste and that the punishment was disproportionate to the offense. 528 journalists, including about 200 current and former Herald staffers, called on the Herald to reinstate DeFede, but the paper's management refused to back down. The state attorney's office later declined to file charges against the columnist, holding that the potential violation was "without a (living) victim or a complainant."
On September 8, 2006, Miami Herald's president Jesús Díaz Jr. fired three journalists because they had allegedly been paid by the United States Government to work in anti-Cuba propaganda TV and radio channels. The three were Pablo Alfonso, Wilfredo Cancio Isla and Olga Connor.. Less than a month later, and following the pressure of the Cuban community in Miami, Díaz resigned after reinstating the fired journalists. Nevertheless, he continues claiming that such payments, especially if coming from organisms of the state, violate the principles of journalistic independence. At least seven other journalists that do not work at the Herald, namely Miguel Cossio, Carlos Alberto Montaner, Juan Manuel Cao, Ariel Remos, Omar Claro, Helen Aguirre Ferre, Paul Crespo and Ninoska Perez-Castellón, were also paid for programs on Radio Martí or TV Martí , both financed by the government of the United States through the Broadcasting Board of Governors, receiving a total of between 15,000 and 175,000 USD since 2001.
The Miami Herald sponsors several community involvement projects. The Silver Knight Awards have been held every spring since 1959. The awards are given in several categories to high school seniors who are nominated by faculty committees in their schools. Typical nominees will not only have excelled in their classroom studies but also served to better their community in some way. 18,000 students have been recognized since the program was started.
The Wish Book program lets people from the community who are suffering from hardships of varying types ask for help from the readers. Wishes have included asking for donations to buy medical equipment for a sick child, help with renovations to make a home wheelchair accessible, monetary donation to an impoverished family dealing with cancer treatments, and help to an elderly resident wanting to learn how to use a computer. Readers may make donations to specific causes or to the program at large.
The Miami Herald also co-sponsors spelling bees and athletic awards in South Florida. On those years when a co-sponsor cannot be found for the spelling bees, the Miami Herald has declined to foot the entire bill, and thus the spelling bees have been cancelled. The Tropic section and its columnist Dave Barry also run a unique annual puzzlehunt in the Miami area called the Tropic Hunt.