Sun-Sentinel Big Loss: Veteran Gary Stein Retiring

 

BY BUDDY NEVINS

 

 

 

The old gang is getting, ah, old.

Veteran Sun-Sentinel editorial writer Gary Stein is retiring. At 70-years-old, Stein is one of the last journalists I worked with in the early 1980s still at the Sun-Sentinel.

Stein is the closest thing the Sun-Sentinel had to a first-rate utility player.  He went from being a columnist to an editor and then an editorial board writer.

The Chicago-bred Stein joined the Fort Lauderdale News in 1981. He instantly became an immensely popular front–of-the-local section columnist.

He was inventive, observant, satirical and, most of all, side-splittingly funny.

There were times I would watch hard-bitten reporters in the newsroom dig into their morning newspaper and suddenly start chuckling. I would know they were reading Stein.

 

 

Gary Stein (with glasses) and Buddy Nevins at a wrestling match at the Sunrise Musical Theater in the early 1980s. 

 

After 15 years as a columnist, Stein moved to management in the mid-1990s. By then the Fort Lauderdale News had become the Sun-Sentinel and Stein was named the editor of the newspaper’s West Broward coverage.

West Broward served mostly as a Sun-Sentinel farm team, a place where young reporters served their time until they were brought to the paper’s headquarters in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Over the next decade, Stein’s cool demeanor and finely honed skills taught journalism to dozens of newbies.

Reporters like Brittany Wallman blossomed under Stein.

About a decade ago, Stein joined the newspaper’s editorial board. He brought with him unmatched knowledge of Broward County, a community he had covered for a generation.

Stein texted me that he is starting to feel his age. He has spinal problems that make it difficult to walk.

“Guess it is just part of getting older, but I’m trying to improve it…,” he wrote. “…Thirty six years here, 48 in the business. I love being a newspaperman – nobody uses that term but me – but it’s time.”

The newspaper is losing all that knowledge, all that expertise.

Unfortunately, they will probably replace him with somebody who never covered a city commission, someone who doesn’t know what the initials LBJ stand for and somebody who can’t find their way to the Courthouse.

The suits in the glass offices at the Sun-Sentinel call that progress.  I call it sad for Broward County and sad for journalism.

 

An older Gary Stein posing with his favorite player. 



15 Responses to “Sun-Sentinel Big Loss: Veteran Gary Stein Retiring”

  1. City activist Robert Walsh says:

    This paper is going nowhere.I pay $1.88 everyday and 3bucks on Saturday and Sunday.With Mr.stein without him etc.the Sun-Sentinel is again going nowhere.When im paying almost 300 bucks for a memorial.to 85bucks to sell the Caddy you can see that they are making big bucks.I like this paper(by the way the Caddy sold in 2days).I read it everyday.Along with USA.and New york post.Everyday($$$)…

  2. Bonnie DiPacio says:

    I love you Gary.

  3. Jack Moss says:

    Gary … you will be missed … your experience, wit, and charm cannot be replaced.

    Maybe you can write a Letter to the Editor once in a while!

  4. so long says:

    Good one less nut job left wing editor!

  5. Sober as a Judge says:

    I like the term newspaperman. It has all the attributes actual and inferred that journalism today lacks.

  6. Joan Tamen says:

    Everybody loves Gary. Best wishes on a joyful retirement.

  7. rightwing says:

    no great loss. just the usual whiny liberal anti trump rant.. sun sentinel nothing more than a step sister for the new York times.great for using under the cats litter box. otherwise useless trash.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A major loss. When I was a candidate, Gary Stein was the only one on that editorial board who knew anything about anything. The other ones had probably never driven anywhere outside of Fort Lauderdale.

  9. Lori Abadessa says:

    Gary
    Your knowledge, humor, and ability to keep a precise
    relevance to your subject has made you a fantastic
    newspaperman. Good luck in the future!

  10. Carol R says:

    Gary Stein…
    Best wishes from the Roseners and the Stanke’s! Enjoy many years of good health. The Cubs already gave you their present! Carol Rosener (if you remember me)

  11. Drive by says:

    Gary, now that you have time off, you want to go hunting or out to the shooting range?

  12. Arnie Rosenberg says:

    All the best, Gary!

  13. carolina says:

    Gary, a big loss to all of us who love to read your columns.
    I wish for you a very happy retirement & a long, healthy, & happy life.

  14. Zowie says:

    There’s a saying in the working class neighborhoods of Chicago: never trust a Cubs fan. But for Mr. Stein, I could be talked into making an exception.

  15. Patti Lynn says:

    Wow, this is a tough one. I remember all the Steinmobile stories; the single guy stories; and the stories of Stein in Florida. Then came the “Married Stein”,the “Daddy Stein”, and stories about the father of the college student. We shall all miss you. You replaced a quality columnist, and did it so that no one resented you. I’ll miss you, as I missed Ray. You’ve earned it, Gary, enjoy life.

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