Broward News

Sun-Sentinel Plunders Palm Beach Post

Got back from Boulder CO yesterday. Slept something like 20 hours (actually it was 16 over a 24-hour period), yet it had nothing to do with a hangover. A first for me. No, good clean family fun was had, including a ridiculously beautiful mountain hike at 13,000 feet and some tubing on Boulder Creek during which my body was flung on sharp rocks more times than I care to recall. Problem is the scrapes on my back keep reminding me. Most of the rough stuff, though, occurred during the first 10 minutes; after that it was a blast.

I was in a cabin with ma famille that had no TV, phone, A/C, or computer. The only connection I had to the blog was during a quick 15-minute check of e-mails and such at the Boulder Library. I didn't read any newspaper stories outside the Rocky Mountain News and Daily Camera (neither of which were very impressive) and don't have the urge right now to start back up again. Looks like it'll be something I'll have to ease back into. So all the work -- both great and small -- that has been done by South Florida journalists during the past five days has gone under the Pulp radar. If I missed a masterpiece send it along.

One thing (and it may well be a masterpiece) that I did start reading was Debbie Cenziper's investigation into affordable housing scams in Miami-Dade. Titled "House of Lies," it seems strong. Very strong. I like to say that Broward County is overtaking North Cuba as the corruption capital of Florida. It's undoubtedly a pretty good competition, but the Miami Herald's findings put Dade squarely back on top.

And another story I stumbled across comes from the Palm Beach Post's Allyson Bird. Her story about the horrific death -- and life -- of a 17-year-old girl begins this way: "Brittany Carleo was buried last week with a floppy stuffed pig and a cellphone."

Oh, and on the personnel front, it seems the Sun-Sentinel, as it continues its aggressive push into Palm Beach County, isn't just trying to take over the Post's circulation, it's also raiding the newspaper's talent. Well, actually that isn't anything new -- the Big Three Dailies poach one another on a regular basis. But the Sentinel, which has seen an exodus of reporters lately, is definitely looking north for replacements. They say the Sentinel is offering a lot more pay and sweet little "signing bonuses" to sway talent from the opposition to switch sides. And the management at the Post is none too pleased about it.

A couple weeks ago, Post reporter Sofia Santana gave the newspaper her two weeks notice after accepting a job offer from the Sentinel. The editors, not wanting a mole in their midst, told Sanatana she could have her two weeks at home. They ordered her to clean her desk and immediately exit the building.

On Friday, Stephanie Horvath went through the same rigamarole. She told her editors she was leaving for the enemy and was out of the office in an hour. Guess the insurance blog is going down in flames. What a shame. The last thing this world needs is one less blog.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman