FAU Fires Longtime University Press Adviser Michael Koretzky

Florida Atlantic University's contentious, beloved, outspoken, and sometimes reviled student paper adviser, Michael Koretzky, was fired yesterday. Officials announced the changing of the guard yesterday. Student Media Director Marti Harvey will replace him for the time being.

Koretzky had been guiding the student-run University Press for well over a decade, teaching FAU's budding journos the ins and outs of media law, showing them how to write a concise sentence or craft a nut graph -- and demonstrating by example the best ways to take down an opponent. Some of his protégés, such as John Linn (food writer), and Devin Desjarlais (Juice blogger and assistant web editor) have gone on to work at New Times. Jake Cline edits CityLink. I worked for Koretzky at Free Press.

When we reached him by phone this morning, 

Koretzky wouldn't comment about why he was fired other than to indicate he didn't see eye to eye with management about the direction and tenor of the paper.

Koretzky's aggressive, take-no-prisoners approach to news gathering was honed at the University of Florida's independent Alligator in the early '80s. He went on to found the biweekly Ice magazine in West Palm Beach, which he subsequently sold to the Palm Beach Post and ran as a weekly. After the Post folded Ice, Koretzky worked as an editor at XS (later CityLink). In the '90s he edited the independent biweekly Free Press and a decade later Jazziz, as well as working as a freelancer for the Globe/Enquirer/Star conglomerate in Boca Raton.

"Koretzky really took a personal interest in his students. He'd sit and talk with you about your future, he'd stick his neck out for you, and he'd get in your corner if you needed him," New Times restaurant critic John Linn says.

Devin Desjarlais, former editor-in-chief at University Press, adds: "We have learned from him, been inspired by him, and for many of us, even started careers with his help. He's not only respected by the student journalists at FAU but also by journalists all over the country. It's a shame that FAU couldn't recognize all the great things he's done for us."

Koretzky has never lost his zest for a scuffle. Most recently, he was embroiled in a last-minute takeover bid of the South Florida chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists that we covered here.

We'll update when Koretzky's ready to talk about what happened at FAU last week. Knowing him as we do, it's unlikely he'll stay mum for long.

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