Veteran South Florida newspaper editor Diann Slattery died Monday, following a sudden collapse at a public library. Slattery, who was 46 years-old, last held the position of managing editor at Miami Today. Prior to that, she spent 12 years at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, where she worked as graphics editor, projects editor, and Broward Metro Editor.
"I can't really talk about her hobbies, because her main interest was journalism," says Miami Today publisher Michael Lewis. "She was thinking journalism 100 percent of the time. Everything to her related to news and how it affected the community. And that was real important to us."
Slattery, a graduate of the University of Florida, came to Fort Lauderdale from her hometown of Sarasota, where she worked on the metro desk at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
"There are a lot of editors in this world who are good at copy editing and conceptualizing stories, but can't manage people at all," says Sentinel social services reporter Bill Hirshman, whom Slattery hired 12 years ago. "Journalists are notoriously difficult to manage and she dealt with her staff as human beings and encouraged them and made them feel like there was somebody in a glass office that genuinely cared about them both as a professional and as person."
Much of her time last year was spent caring for her late mother and handling the affairs of the family estate, says Lewis. According to her paid obituary, which was published this morning in the Sentinel:
The biggest thrills for Diann were the breaking news story and "the scoop" -- whipping the journalistic competition. Those who knew her well enjoyed the two sides of Diann. The brash side: shouting out commands in the newsroom or boisterously arguing sports over a beer. The soft side: her devotion for her staffers; her affection for "Erica" and "Jeremy" on the TV soap All My Children; her weekly nail appointment, not to be missed; her steadfast care for her dying mother, who passed away just a year ago.
Slattery was hospitalized after suffering an apparent seizure at a library near her home in Plantation. She died early Monday morning following severe medical complications. She will be buried during a private service at at Palms Funeral Home in Sarasota.