Former Sun-Sentinel Publisher Supported Runcie Over Paper

BY BUDDY NEVINS

The Sun-Sentinel’s staff picked up its Pulitzer Prize in a ceremony in New York City this week. 

But there is one retiree from the Sun-Sentinel who appears never to like the prize-winning stories — former Publisher Howard Greenberg.

In an email to the governor’s office, Greenberg didn’t call the stories Fake News. But that’s how I and others read his comments.

Howard Greenberg

The paper won the Pulitzer for “exposing failings by school and law enforcement officials before and after the deadly shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” stated the award committee. 

Greenberg’s comments, questioning the stories, were used by the School Board members as an excuse to support Runcie against accusations of wrongdoing by the paper.

Browardbeat obtained a copy of his letter and others supporting Runcie from the governor’s office.

No, Greenberg didn’t write outright that the Sun-Sentinel’s reporting were phony.

He hinted at it. Broadly and clearly:

“I am well aware of what lengths a newspaper or newspapers will go to in order to win journalistic awards, up to and including a Pulitzer Prize. I hope you will take the time to look past all that and give a fair and impartial review of Superintendent Runcie’s accomplishments.” 

This is the same Greenberg who made a comfortable living for years from the work of the same reporters he was knocking. He retired in 2015 after eight years as publisher. 

Greenberg’s statement about his former employer, the Sun-Sentinel, was contained in a handful of emails bundled by the business group Broward Workshop and sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis to support Runcie. 

Browardbeat is not going to rehash the Parkland tragedy. Browardbeat is not going again recount the School Board and Runcie’s many missteps and coverups.

But Browardbeat will remind its readers one big truth that the Sun-Sentinel critics don’t mention: Those who were supposed to protect our children failed because of a series of frightening blunders. 

The paper uncovered the mistakes and then won the Pulitzer for the stories.  

The winning stories were examined by some of the most respected names in journalism before the prize was awarded.  

The Pulitzer is vindication against the Sun-Sentinel’s critics.  Critics like Runcie. The School Board. The business community. Greenberg. 

When some of the Sun-Sentinel’s staff picked up the Pulitzer this week, someone took a picture. That’s the prize winning staff below: 

Some of the Sun-Sentinel Pulitzer winners in New York City this week (from Facebook)

The second picture is reporter Scott Travis, the Sun-Sentinel’s education reporter.

I barely know Travis, but I can imagine what his life was like since the shootings. 

Treated like a plague carrier inside the School Board offices. Doing his job while being attacked, spun and lied to by school system and the clueless Board members. 

That’s him below holding the Pulitzer:

Scott Travis (from Facebook)

And Greenberg? 

Browardbeat heard his new job is helping advertisers more effectively spend their money. That is a much better use of his time than this:




18 Responses to “Former Sun-Sentinel Publisher Supported Runcie Over Paper”

  1. Chaz Stevens, Employed says:

    So, he’s now a Pay Per Click expert?….

  2. Charlotte Greenbarg says:

    I know well what it’s like to be treated like a plague by a school system. It’s a badge of honor that the Pulitzer committee understood. Greenberg is a disgrace on all counts. The reporters exposed the truth. Now let’s see if the lemmings in Broward who keep electing the board members, their supporters on the County Commission and the entire corrupt political system comprehend it all.

  3. Chaz Stevens, Employed says:

    PS Didn’t Greenberg oversee the decimation of that paper? Wasn’t he the one that pulled the trigger, sending many talented folks to the unemployment line? And now, as an added “Hey, fuck you,” he’s consulting on how to best shaft the newspaper?

    You have to wonder about his loathing of the media. Or maybe, he realized no one would ever hire him again … so he went to the dark side.

  4. Unfair says:

    I think this piece to be extremely unfair to Mr. Greenberg. I might not even agree with him, but in our american democracy, people are entitled to write their public officials and express their opinions. No one should be have to worry that the exercise of these rights should result in personal attacks on them for doing so. To engage in this kind of personal attacks is just unfair; especially so for someone who was a former journalist and purports to be a guardian of the first amendment. And you wonder why people post anonymously. Buddy, I am disappointed in you.

  5. A parallel says:

    Now isn’t this a fine kettle of fish! Education has been eating its young for decades, destroying creative teaching methods, discarding methods that work in favor of experimenting with a new theory. Teachers are expected to deliver instruction”to the test” in lock step.
    It appears that journalism is following the same path. Many television networks use identical vocabulary to describe the news on a daily basis. (lock step). Objectivity and research are gone from journalism.
    And out comes Howard, a journalist (?) swinging his saber to slay his peers who have won a prestigious award for displaying old style journalism while supporting an inept school administrator. Howard can multitask by eating alive journalism and school administration at the same time.

  6. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    I dont agree with the Sun Sentinel like I didnt with the Miami Herald or New York Times because of biase in news stories or factual errors BUT NO REPORTER or EDITOR writes or slants stories to win a Prize. Journalists have intregity. WHAT IS IN THE WATER MR GREENBERG IS DRINKING?

  7. Nathalie Lynch-Walsh says:

    Amen. The district’s hide, spin, deny, and threaten tactics are no match for the truth.

  8. Bill Heller says:

    Travis is an excellent old-school reporter. His coverage of the MSD tragedy was apolitical and he brought to light a lot of things the public has a right to know. He deserves his award.

  9. Bob Adams says:

    Hmmmmm… Howard Greenberg defended Superintendent Runcie but not Sheriff Israel? Not that I am; they both should have been gone years ago.
    Just seems strange…

  10. Charles King says:

    Well if you weren’t convinced the Broward Workshop as cabal of sold out individual has conspired against the middle class to keep failed Superintendent Robert Runcie running the 6th biggest school bureaucracy in the country as part of a “all is well” PR campaign, then what do you think now? Given that currently 78% of the students attending THE DISTRICT’s public schools that reside in my home city of Fort Lauderdale live at or below the poverty line qualifying for free and reduced price lunches and that 40% of the students in the city (aka “the middle class”) are being forced to “pay twice” for private school or flee for the suburbs, I’d say Superintendent Runcie’s above mentioned accomplishments can be summarized as time wasted on our trajectory to the bottom. PS Don’t forget to never buy anything from City Furniture ever again!

  11. Chaz Stevens Stevens says:

    >> And you wonder why people post anonymously.

    – said the anonymous poster.

    PS Just grow a pair, or borrow mine. You can find them for rent on UberBalls

  12. modeen says:

    When I realized there would be a Stoneman Douglas article in the Sun Sentinel every day, I told my friends it was all about awards from here on out. They agreed. And we were right.

  13. Dr. Charles Luther King says:

    Dr. Charles Luther King says folks living in poverty are “forcing” the middle class to “pay twice” or “flee” for better schools………those damn poor people really bother Dr King. I think he wants us to self-segregate so he and his kids can better enjoy their god-given white privilege.

  14. Unfair says:

    @11 Yep. Anonymously … sorry you didn’t get my point “genius” … I think you’ve got more balls than brains.

  15. Linda says:

    Oh Good Grief ! When will grown people grow up ? Greenberg forgot who buttered his bread for so many years. Maybe he should retire again. Congratulations to the Sun-Sentinel. So glad we STILL have a hometown newspaper.

  16. Steven Feren says:

    Not very surprising. The establishment always supports and protects their own. In addition to being very conservative and reactionary, it is a certainty that there are hundreds of inter-connected business relationships, contracts, and family and interpersonal relationships between these various organizations. As far as Runcie is concerned, the only possibility of him being held responsible for MSD and all the other failings of the Broward County school system, would be for the School Board itself to dump him . Since he has always operated on a 5-4 majority, and since the School Board itself was potentially at risk if they admitted all of the failings that led to the MSD tragedy, it’s not hard to understand why RUncie is still there.

  17. Count. LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    #10 Charlie King n Mr Nevins bash the Broward Workshop for supporting Runcie BUT HE WORKS FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD ELECTED BY THE VOTERS. I agree Runcie should GO but dont blame the Broward Workshop. AND FRANKLY AS HEAD OF TWO FAMILY CHARITIES I KNOW MANY BROWARD WORKSHOP OFFICERS FROM THEIR HUGE CHARITY CHECKS an item frankly I am UNWARE THEIR CRITICS ARE FAMILIAR WITH.

  18. Real News says:

    I understand why you write about your former employer Sun-Sentinel so much. Boring Newspapers like them have become irrelevant. Nobody cares about the Pulitzer.They should call it the Putz.

    FROM BUDDY:

    Putz is a Yiddish word that can mean “penis”. It is more commonly used to mean “fool” or some worthless person.

    I don’t know if “Real News” meant the word “putz” should be applied to the Pulitzer or the Sun-Sentinel. “Real News”, however, should remember that the Pulitzer also honors excellence in literature, such as books, poetry and music.

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