Best TV News Anchor (2009)

Michael Putney

This Week in South Florida is to local politics what NBC's Meet the Press is to national politics: a place where major figures must face tough questions from an informed, skeptical interviewer. That's Putney, an old-fashioned newsman in the tradition of PBS' Jim Lehrer. Now in his 28th year in South Florida television, Putney has no patience for the equivocation and platitudes that sneaky politicians use to duck questions. It's no use declining his invitation — Putney will tell that to his viewers, who will then wonder whether the person has something to hide. On the contentious issue of the new Marlins stadium, Putney took the hard, common-sense line: If fans aren't going to the current stadium, why would they go to the new one? And aren't there more worthy investments? The closing segment, "Putney Perspective," is devoted to an issue of immense local importance or to chastise a public servant who didn't do his duty. In one recent broadcast, Putney gave the name of the police officer who failed to show up for a court appearance, allowing a drunk driver to get back behind the wheel only to plow into a minivan and kill three children. Putney demands accountability from anyone in a position of power — from the traffic cop to the Florida governor.

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