Our attempt to publicize and invigorate the "Get Those Damn Grammys" campaign by Broward County tourist officials got plenty of notice in certain circles last week.

The satire pointed out the difficulty of attempting to pull in such an international event, and we tried to poke fun at both Miami's politics and Broward's lame me-tooism, while noting a lack of minority identity here. (See "Fort Lauderdale -- It Ain't Miami," November 18.)

We knew rational and knowledgeable readers would get it when we included references to "the oft-misunderstood Señor Castro" and the County's "Recognize-a-Latin Day."

But in its usual frenzy to snatch any information and turn it into a story, one daily paper bought into the spoof and bit, bigtime. We hear that The Herald felt it necessary to track down the head of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau in London in an attempt to get to the bottom of this breaking story. They must have thought we had uncovered something they had missed. Imagine that.

Indeed the bureau had composed a letter to the Grammy decision-makers, but theirs was not quite as amusing as ours. The county administrator's office wanted to know if our letter was the one that was sent to the Grammy leaders.

Just so you know there still are a few people in the media with brains, a Sun-Sentinel reporter read the parody piece and got the message.

And speaking of the extremely profitable yet dull daily paper, we hear that the all-important city editor position at the Sun-Sentinel is up for grabs now that Mindy Donnelly has been shipped out to Palm Beach County to write editorials.

One reason for her removal from the management track is the increased outflow of experienced staff writers from the paper, with which some former employees claim Bennett had a lot to do. Apparently a few reporters viewed her as snappish and difficult to deal with. (What editor isn't?) A former employee who has moved out of state says there will be few tears shed in the newsroom over the move. The reporter says Donnelly compared unfavorably with the previous city editor, Tom Davidson, and she lacked a sense of vision, which is apparent in the local section's "cover everything, but nothing really well" approach to news.

Another reporter who left recently, partially because of Donnelly, says the job switch to editorial-page writer rather than a firing, was a face-saving move by management. A former employee who had worked with Donnelly points out that she isn't known as someone who ponders the large issues of the day. Donnelly told us she didn't want to talk about anything personal.

In researching this media-management issue, we note that the once-prestigious Los Angeles Times seems be the daily most Broward evacuees favor on their climb up the ink-stained ladder. Besides their once-frenzied scramble for a news scoop, former Sentinel reporters Scott Gold, Dana Calvo, and Evelyn Larubbia now have something in common with former Herald reporter Meg James. All of these once-familiar bylines have packed their bags and sunglasses and swapped the East Coast's sunrises for the garish Technicolor of sunsets out West.

Got a tip? Call 954-233-1581, fax 954-233-1571, or e-mail [email protected].

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Tom Walsh
Contact: Tom Walsh