Senior Political Reporter
Updated On: Aug 06 2014 09:32:36 AM EDT
Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior reporter on politics and government, and writes a semimonthly column on politics for The Miami Herald.
Michael was born in New York City, spent his early years in St. Louis, and when he was 14-years-old, he moved with his family to Berkeley, Calif. Following graduation from Berkeley High School, he attended Deep Springs College in California. After two years, he entered the University of Missouri and received a BA in English Literature. He later completed course work toward a master's degree at the University of Missouri.
Michael began his career in broadcast journalism in 1966 while a graduate student, first as a radio reporter and then as a news director at KCGM in Columbia, Missouri. He transferred across town to KFRU radio and was quickly promoted from assistant news director to news director. Between newscasts, he worked for The Columbia Daily Tribune as city editor.
In 1970, Michael moved from the Midwest to Washington, D.C. There he worked for The National Observer -- the first two years as general arts writer, then five years as general assignment reporter and national feature writer. A promotion to West Coast bureau chief in 1976 took Michael to Los Angeles. When the Observer closed in 1977 he worked in New York for Time Inc., then The Miami Herald lured him to Florida to write for its Sunday magazine, Tropic. He later wrote a column for the paper.
In 1981, Michael returned to broadcasting, this time in television. At WTVJ in Miami, he reported on a wide variety of stories but with a heavy emphasis on government and politics. In 1986, he became weekend co-anchor. By the late '80s, Michael Putney had achieved "most valuable reporter" status in the South Florida broadcast community. Michael has been to Cuba dozens of times. His knowledge of, and experience with Cuban political issues is virtually unmatched among South Florida news professionals. The myriad of stories he has covered includes the Mariel boatlifts; Immigration Accord talks in Havana, Washington D.C. and New York; and an in-depth interview with Cuban National Assembly President, Ricardo Alarcon. Michael reported from Havana when the remains of Che Guevara were returned to the island from Bolivia. He was part of The Local News team that covered the visit to Cuba of Pope John Paul II.
Michael's superior reporting skills have won him two Emmys. The State Supreme Court also appointed him to the Florida's Judicial Management Council. He said his favorite part of being a reporter is talking to newsmakers and trying to pull out the facts, some of which, he said, is occasionally the truth. He's has tried to forget any embarrassments he may have had during his illustrious career. He has a lot of respect for the broadcasting profession and said he is most proud just to have made slot the night before.
Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Marta and his daughter Mia, a quirky cocker spaniel named Zoe and pug puppy named Tallulah -- Tula, for short. When he is out on the town and looking for a place to dine, he often chooses Cafe Ragazzi. He also enjoys cooking, reading, tennis, and traveling.
You can e-mail Michael here.