Michael Putney presents his last ‘This Week In South Florida’

‘Stay informed, get involved’

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Michael Putney is retiring Sunday after a journalistic career that spanned about half a century and included over three decades of service with WPLG Local 10 News.

On Friday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz visited the Local 10 newsroom in Pembroke Park to personally tell Putney that she had entered a statement into the congressional record to honor his service and she delivered a U.S. flag that flew in his honor over the U.S. Capitol.

“Michael was doggedly devoted to accountability throughout his tenure at WPLG and our community is far better as a result of that work,” Wasserman Schultz said.

Putney, who was born in New York City, spent his early years in St. Louis and moved to Berkeley, California when he was 14 years old. After graduating from Berkeley High School and attending Deep Springs College, he earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Missouri.

Putney began his journalistic career in radio while he was a graduate student at the University of Missouri in 1966. He wrote for The National Observer, Time, and The Miami Herald before reporting and co-anchoring for WTVJ.

Putney had lived in Miami since 1977 when he joined WPLG in 1989 as a senior political reporter and host of “This Week In South Florida.” The late Ann Bishop helped to recruit him.

Putney also reported from Cuba over 25 times. His historic coverage includes stories about the Mariel boatlifts; the Immigration Accord talks, the Cuban National Assembly, the arrival of the remains of Che Guevara to Havana from Bolivia, and Pope John Paul II’s visit to the Communist island.

Putney interviewed politicians at every level of government including former President Barack Obama who he said was “fun” and former President Richard Nixon, who he said taught him not to be “so judgemental” because “people are complex.”

His last episode of This Week In South Florida on Sunday included a discussion about the property insurance crisis in Florida and an interview with The Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts Jr., who has also retired. Putney’s usual final words: “Stay informed, get involved.”

The last segments

Watch the complete episode

Friday’s reports

Watch the 5 p.m. report

Watch the 6 p.m. report

Watch the 11 p.m. report

Few of many farewell messages


About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.