Local 10 Senior Political Reporter Michael Putney signing off the air, retiring after decades in TV
Michael Putney, Local 10′s intrepid senior political reporter, wouldn’t dare miss as important an election as the upcoming Florida general election.
But after Nov. 8, all bets are off. After 30-plus years with WPLG and decades more in print and television journalism, he’s signing off. WPLG’s TV’s vice president and news director Bill Pohovey announced Tuesday that Michael has “decided to hang up his reporter’s notebook and spend more time . . . traveling and enjoying retirement with his wife.”
Michael’s lists of accomplishments are vast although anyone who has ever worked beside him would tell you he isn’t one to boast.
Michael has crisscrossed the country and the world. It was a job at the Miami Herald that brought him to South Florida. It was in the late 1970s when he was working in New York City for Time magazine that the newspaper lured him to write for its Sunday magazine, Tropic.
But his career got its start in broadcast journalism –in radio – and, in 1981, Michael joined WTVJ in Miami, where, by the late 80s, he had proved he was a political and government reporter to be reckoned with.
(From the Wolfson archive, see Michael Putney’s Weekly Broadcast Column on WTVJ in October of 1988 below.)
The chance to fully report on politics and host a Sunday political show, “This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney” brought the journalist to WPLG-TV in 1989.
About the show, news director Pohovey said: “(Politicians) knew they wouldn’t be taken seriously unless they stopped by ‘This Week in South Florida.’ ” His current co-host Glenna Milberg will continue the program as solo anchor upon his departure.
“I’ve known Michael as a colleague and a friend for literally half my life. Change is standard operating procedure for the news business, though his retirement feels like the end of an era,” his co-host said.
He’s had some memorable moments talking to heads of state and covering some of the most tumultuous political stories both in South Florida and especially in Cuba. His dogged pursuit of a story sometimes made for interesting live television. There was the unforgettable time caught on camera when Michael got soaked, literally, when he showed up at the door of a politician at the center of an FBI investigation and had a pitcher of water tossed in his face.
That drive to get a story has won him two Emmy Awards for his political reporting and, after decades in South Florida’s television news, Michael has earned the respect of colleagues, viewers, and the very newsmakers he’s reported on.
Michael’s official sign-off will be Dec. 18, 2022.