Sun-Sentinel Abandons Downtown Fort Lauderdale





Within weeks Fort Lauderdale will have no daily newspaper for the first time in many generations.

The reporters, editors and others are moving out of the current Fort Lauderdale headquarters to a soulless office park in west Deerfield Beach.

Miles from the Broward School Board.

Miles from the Broward County Commission.

Miles from the Broward Sheriff’s Office HQ.

Miles from the news.


Howard Saltz

Howard Saltz, Sun-Sentinel publisher



The paper’s coverage already suffers from too many stories that are cobbled together by journalists who never leave their computers. How many more of these will there be when the journalists are so far from where the news is generated?

The move is designed to save money since paper will no longer need to pay East Broward Boulevard prices to rent an office. The staff will be housed in the paper’s printing plant.

One loser is downtown Fort Lauderdale’s fantasies of being an urban center.

The Sun-Sentinel’s move is another example of why Fort Lauderdale is not really the center of most Broward residents’ lives. It’s a city planner’s obsession, not a reflection of Broward’s reality.

More people live, work and recreate at the Davie education center, where at least ten school campuses are located. Yet there are skimpy plans for transportation relief to Davie compared to the $100s million envisioned for The Wave streetcar in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

The Sun-Sentinel has been moving out of downtown Fort Lauderdale for years. They built their printing plant in Deerfield Beach decades ago, a smart investment considering today’s traffic in Fort Lauderdale between downtown and the highways.

Many of the media company’s staffers hate the upcoming move. Others told me that they like the proximity to I-95 and their homes, plus talk that they won’t have to regularly show up in Deerfield Beach.

“We have been told we don’t have to come in the office very often,” one reporter said. That comment was echoed by other sources.

If those comments are true, something will be lost in the new arrangement.

I worked in the media, admittedly back in the Dark Ages. Newsrooms at the time were a bubbling brew of gossip, tips and mentoring generously dolloped among the staff. The interaction served to improve stories and get more news in the paper.

The collaboration was like an additional year of journalism school, especially for younger reporters.

I can’t begin to remember how many times I suggested a way to nail down a story to a reporter who was stuck. I can’t remember all the times another staffer or editor helped me.

My column survived on tips from others, who sidled up to my desk with something they heard from their own sources.

Stories in those days were collaborative efforts.

Under the arrangement being discussed, Sun-Sentinel staffers will be working alone. In isolation.

Yes, they will get feedback from the disembodied voice over cells of their editors cloistered in the Deerfield Beach printing plant. Or from editors’ emails.

Research has shown that humans – That category includes journalists, although some may doubt that! – use body language and interactions with others to understand the world around them. That is why working alone is not the best environment for many.

Sun-Sentinel journalists may have a tougher time growing and improving when working largely alone, in addition to being far from where news is taking place.

Speaking at a downtown Fort Lauderdale breakfast meeting in the summer, Sun-Sentinel Publisher Howard Saltz denounced much of the paper’s Internet competition. He branded it a bunch of out-of-touch bloggers secluded in their parents’ basement.

His reporters in the future may not be in their parent’s basement. But they run the risk of being just as removed from Broward County.


(Note: The Miami Herald moved from downtown Miami sometime ago to a faceless office park in West Dade, equally far from much of the news.)


27 Responses to “Sun-Sentinel Abandons Downtown Fort Lauderdale”

  1. tom lubart says:

    well said


    Tom Lubart is a former Sun-Sentinel political writer.

  2. everyone is a blogger now says:

    So in reality the long established idea of a reporter is dead and in reality the remaining “reporters” are really an advanced form of “bloggers” working from home.

  3. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:


    I don’t think the problem is reporters… It’s the layer between them and the Saltz…

    Newspapers are incredibly risk adverse. Additionally, they need to feed the content machine.

    How many long form stories does the S-S publish a year? Do you really think that’s a factor of location?

    Susannah Bryan is an amazing talent … So is Mike Mayo and Anne Geggis.

    Brittany … well, how many “sucks donkey balls” are in the word “yeoman’s work”?

    The problem Buddy is YOU. You fail, along with many others, to sally forth a workable future solution for the changing landscape.

    You think that drinking coffee together at the desk is some miracle cure … pah!

    How come the Times thrives and the S-S doesn’t?

  4. Suzanne says:

    An ignominious end of an era… sad.

  5. ciy activist robert wash says:

    I wish I was “secluded in my parents basement”(it would help if they were alive). So the reporters have to travel(they got cars).

  6. Just Saying says:

    Sounds like the economic death rattle from a dying newspaper.

  7. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:


  8. Floridan says:

    Cut, cut, cut . . . fewer journalists, fewer articles, less editing, more reworked press releases, then throw in an occasional story from the Orlando Sentinel that has no relevance to South Florida. I subscribe to the Sun-Sentinel, but increasingly I wonder why.

  9. Sober as a Judge says:

    Self destruction.

    That is how history will record this era in journalism.

    The zeal to appeal replaced the storm to inform, leading us to a place in which American journalism has never been held in greater contempt. Citizens now get the news others want us to hear not the facts about current events that a democracy must have to self-govern.

    We do not know what or who to believe anymore.

    No news source widely consumed remains respected as totally reliable. Propaganda abounds while objective news coverage becomes harder to find.

    The line between editorial and news has for too long been erased that we no longer tell the difference.

    Fewer people read newspapers today than ever before. They are turned off to events. Understandably, confusion and false impressions set into a population of misinformed or uninformed. News slanted toward emotional manipulation is the norm and that clash separates us. We cannot unite under such conditions to do anything together.

    Truth in journalism has become a punch line. And even the journalists reading this will reject it. The pain it causes is too impossible to bear, yet it is true. If anything is true, this is.

    How odd that in the age of the internet, when we have more information instantly available to us than ever before, Americans have never been woefully informed.

    Americans may be worse informed today than at any other time in our history. Journalism is responsible for that new reality.

    Such is the harvest we reap when standards in journalism are allowed to erode. With it, democracy too is threatened. In turn, our way of life is placed in peril.

    Sounds dramatic?

    Look around.

    Americans have never been so divided as we are today.

    We see the world we live in differently because we operate off off facts. We know our facts come from the news. We know the news is not reliable. Yet we still form strong beliefs in those different facts. How utterly curious.

    Who could come to agreement on any view in such a world? It is a gap that keeps growing. Lack of truthful, unslanted facts in reporting causes these disconnects. We cannot unite if we don’t have a common set of facts.

    That’s what the news is supposed to provide. They have and continue to fail us. Explaining why we continue to fail.

    We can celebrate our freedom to hold different views, but how can any nation arrive at consensus when the facts we work off are so very different?

    The three estates of government cannot serve us without the fourth doing its job. That’s why they are all failing us.

    Self destruction.

    That’s what the history books will say. I only hope they’re written in English and that a relatively new nation, by world standards, merely 240 years old, can somehow survive it.

  10. zigy says:

    the glory days of the news papers are over, thank god for you and Christianson.


    Thanks, Zigy. However, Dan Christensen of the and my glory days are over, too.

  11. Gretchen Thompson says:

    We have not been getting much local news for a long time from either newspaper. Tv is mostly Miami or entertainment.

  12. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    It doesnt work because reporters loose acess as with the Miami Herald

  13. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    From Muck Rack

    That’s how Brent Staples of the New York Times responded to Matthew Belvedere’s and Michael Newburg’s CNBC report that “Times subscriptions have soared tenfold in the days since Donald Trump was elected president” (2,000 shares).

    Recode’s Edmund Lee writes, “New York Times added 132,000 net subscribers in the 2 weeks since election day, about as much as it does a quarter.”

    The Times’ Comms Head Eileen Murphy shares a quote from the newspaper’s CEO Mark Thompson on the report: “‘Far from failing, we’re seeing remarkable response’ to Times journalism.”

    “The failing and dishonest New York Times is doing well so far in the age of Trump,” tweets David Uberti of the Columbia Journalism Review.

  14. Scum-Slantinel says:

    Truth be told, Fort Lauderdale has been without a Legitimate newspaper for more than a decade. It has become a lifestyle blog with a small advertising section. RIP

  15. Just As Bad says: is no better than the paper. Same crap. Television has much better breaking news on their websites than Sun-sentinel and faster. Much annoying popup ads and amateur videos. ZZZZZZZ

  16. Rick Bause says:

    It’s the end of an era. And yet another death knell for the newspaper industry.

  17. Old Timer says:

    The next change will be going to a tabloid size format. Section A is not much more than a collaboration of the 24-hour news channels. Section B has lost most local news. Finance section has nothing new. Glad that they are keeping the horoscope to guide my day.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I now believe newspapers are dead. They are making us work in a windowless concrete room that feels a lot like a crypt

  19. Count LF Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz says:

    Newspapers died because locally owned department stores died n who goes to a newspaper for job ads?

  20. Betsy Flagler says:

    Grieving for the s-s ….

  21. rightwing says:

    the stepsister of the new York times is nothing more than typical liberal trash. it is useful however, to use under the cat litter box.

  22. Dinosaur says:

    The typical reader of a newspaper seems to now be largely confined to we baby boomers. As our numbers decrease, the growing increase of financial pressures on local newspapers will increase. In turn,as demonstrated by the hollowing out of papers such as the Sun-Sentinel will continue.
    I am very concerned that the investigative reporting of public corruption and ineptitude, which is so common in Broward, will be the next victim of cost cutting. The comprehensive and laborious efforts of such reporters as Britanny Wallman are vital to reveal these endemic problems in Broward to the public. If not for the Sun Sentinel, how will this void be filled?
    That is the primary reason that I continue to subscribe to the Sun- Sentinel.
    Of course, it is also a useful read to see if anyone I know has died, been indicted or robbed.

  23. Mathew noonan says:

    These liberal reporters want to make the news, not report the truth.

  24. Steve DeWolf says:

    Sad to hear it, but guess it will help keep the paper alive longer. Working in downtown Fort Lauderdale was cool all those years.

  25. Gary Stein says:

    this blog is too anal. put the comments up for pete sake! not even an email address to contact you …


    You are off topic, Gary.

    I don’t believe my readers are interested in reading long diatribes about your court suit, which has nothing to do with this topic.

  26. Floridan says:

    #23 “These liberal reporters want to make the news, not report the truth.”

    We keep hearing this facile accusatation — why don’t you pick a Sun-Sentinel reporter and one of his/her articles and point out the falsehoods in it?

  27. Zowie says:

    What the devil is an “anal” blog?