The Miami Herald has taken budget-cutting to a new extreme. Management has eliminated the receptionist position at its much balleyhooed Pembroke Pines bureau, virtually locking out the public. There's plenty wrong with a newspaper closing its doors to readers, but I don't think I can improve on what a Herald columnist said about it on the Herald's internal message board yesterday. The Pulp obtained the text of the posting:
DON'T BOTHER VISITING THE PINES OFFICE Five years ago, we opened our new building in Pembroke Pines with great fanfare, a tribute to our growth in Broward County and our domination of South Broward. In the last year, we axed our telemarketing function here, and moved the jobs to Miami. Then we leased out the first floor to other businesses. Now we have elminated the receptionist position in Pines. This seems crazy for a newspaper whose role is to interact, interface and be accessible to the community. The door to the building is locked and there is no one from The Miami Herald around on the first floor to let anyone in. If a visitor finds someone leaving the building and is lucky enough to get inside, the stairwell to the second floor is locked too. What is the message we are sending to the community about our commitment to Broward? If you are visiting the Pines office from Miami or Lauderdale, bring your cell phone and call from the parking lot.
Fortunately, there seems to be a simple solution: Rehire the receptionist.