Long before the University of Miami was known as "the U" and when Hurricanes football players were more chumps than champs, it was the Lady Canes who brought athletic glory to the school. The women's golf and swim teams won multiple national championships in the '70s. Now with the football team in a (let's hope temporary) rut, it's the ladies once again who are the pride and joy of Hurricanes athletics. Unquestionably, the women's basketball team was the best on campus this year, and it's in no small part thanks to Shenise Johnson. The Canes won the ACC regular-season championship and skyrocketed to the national top ten, while Johnson netted honors as ACC Player of the Year. She was the only player in the conference to land in the top ten for average points, rebounds, and assists. Shenise and her talented teammates ended the regular season with a 26-3 record. Hell, forget best team on the Coral Gables campus. Considering the Heat's sometimes struggles, Johnson might just be leading the best team in all of Miami.
Anyone who can make Perez Hilton leap out of his host chair and yell, "I'm from Miami too, bitch!" deserves some attention. That was the scene at the Bad Girls Club Miami reunion after Lea Beaulieu, arguably the most exciting reality-TV vixen ever, unleashed her Latina temper yet again. Beaulieu was just another sharp-tongued employee at Salvation Tattoo on Washington Avenue when a phone call changed her life. Oxygen's Bad Girls Club Miami was looking for a few photogenic ladies with a penchant for misbehaving. Beaulieu not only qualified but also proved to be the über-bad girl. With her multiple tattoos, piercings, red lips, and perfectly coifed hair, she's like a hipper, more badass version of Grease's Pink Ladies. And though Beaulieu was born in San Francisco and raised by a Brazilian mother, her blood runs pure, hot-tempered Cuban. Her good looks and mean streak proved to be a deadly combo. Over 13 episodes, roommate Brandi became so obsessed with her that she was driven to near breakdown in an unforgettable panini-maker-throwing freakout. And although Beaulieu and roommate Kristen spent more than half the season as bosom buddies, their friendship came to a violent end when Beaulieu punched her five times in the face. Looking back, Beaulieu's downfall — or perhaps greatest skill — was her ability to go from zero to chonga in record time. Among all the bitches on reality television, Beaulieu holds a special place in our heart because her flip-outs were tinged with Miami flair. But maybe it's not fair to judge anyone through the distortion of a reality-TV lens. As she told us, she remembers her Bad Girls Club experience as a "prison with beautiful furniture and lots of booze. It's a lot like a sweet house arrest."
Most TV news anchors are saccharine. They work too hard for our attention, overplaying emotions like freshmen drama school students. Then they end every story on a note of hope, even when the facts are bleak. Not Calvin Hughes. When the Emmy Award-winning WPLG Channel 10 newscaster headed down to Port-au-Prince for a three-part series called "Haiti: One Year Later," he didn't choke up, even when covering earthquake victims with amputated limbs. And he didn't inject false hope into the country's struggle to overcome crime, disease, and poverty. Instead, he reported the story gracefully and professionally, ending one piece by lamenting that most Haitians still lived in "inhumane conditions with an inept government, no leadership, no work, and, dare I say, no hope for some that tomorrow will bring a better day." Growing up in Cleveland and East St. Louis, Hughes learned that reporters' platitudes and smiling sign-offs often hide the intransigence of poverty and blight. His reporting reveals those problems without dismissing them.
We admit we had never heard of Claudia DoCampo either, at least until last winter. That's when the plucky brunette elbowed her way up to soon-to-be-ex-county Commissioner Natacha Seijas and did what no other reporter around had yet achieved: forced her to answer a question. Well, kind of. On January 31, DoCampo showed up to interview Julio Robaina at the opening of a clinic in Hialeah. Instead, she spotted Seijas, who for weeks had been dodging her and other reporters' interview requests. So the scrappy DoCampo cornered the commissioner and asker her about the recall campaign against her. First, Seijas simply repeated, "No, señora," and tried to slip away. But when DoCampo held her ground, the politician shoved the reporter out of the way, banging her arm against a doorway. Even then, the Argentine-American newscaster didn't give up. "Don't push me!" she yelled and kept following Seijas around the clinic. At one point, the commissioner had to stare at a wall to ignore her. Finally, Seijas turned around, grabbed DoCampo's microphone, and said in Spanish: "Ma'am, we are not here for that. We are here for something very special, OK? There is an ongoing lawsuit. I am not going to answer you. Do you understand what a lawsuit is? OK? Thank you." As Seijas marched off, DoCampo shot back, "You don't have to push me or touch my microphone," before adding a sarcastic gracias of her own. In the end, DoCampo didn't get the straightforward answer she and the rest of Miami-Dade deserved. But by exposing Seijas's fear of the truth, the resilient reporter revealed a more accurate portrait of Seijas than if the commissioner had simply answered the freaking question in the first place.
Hot!
It's 3 a.m. on a Tuesday, and you can't stop thinking about the aliens that kidnapped your dog, the ghost that talks through your cell phone, or the satanic lady at the supermarket. Don't worry — you're not the only one. In fact, millions of listeners already tune in to the Coast to Coast AM radio show seven nights a week, just like you should. Talk to George and his guests about paranormal activity, conspiracy theories, the occult, aliens, and tales of whoa and fury. His temper is as cool as Iceland, his tone as warm as vintage radio tubes. And the show is open to both good and evil. The callers are an amazing, strange, and wonderful assortment of crackpots, believers, seekers, and lunatics. George knows how to get them talking, cuts them off when they're boring, and asks the questions that elicit the best answers. In South Florida, we tap the 5 kilowatts of output from 610 WIOD every Monday through Friday from midnight to 5 a.m., and weirder hours on the weekends, for the kind of talk that gets you thinking.
If voices were alcohol, Andy Wagner's would be an expensive yet approachable, universally beloved champagne. An announcer for WLRN, Wagner is a witty Bristolian Brit with a sparkling charm that sedates frazzled nerves and melts the day's resentments away. Swallow a few sips of his gentle English brogue on your commute home, and you'll suddenly find yourself much less desirous of punching things or screaming, all without the risks of driving under the influence. The announcer doesn't usually impart information much more urgent than the weather or upcoming programs (although he has produced All Things Considered, among other meatier tasks), and that is part of his appeal. It's all about his gorgeous accent and his witty little puns, the kind that make you chuckle softly, shake your head slowly, and say, "Oh, Andy." The ten-year BBC World Service Radio veteran has graced our airwaves since 2002, after coming to Miami in 1999 for a three-month assignment and developing a taste for our salty sea air. A worldly chap, he's been a telephone engineer for the British Army, a Greenpeace activist, and a teacher of English as a foreign language. Wagner enjoys swimming, cooking, and cinema when he's not reaching through our car radio to tickle our ears.
A journalist who came to Miami via Venezuela and New York with more than 30 years of experience, Julio Cesar Camacho never gets lost in the maze of this city's Spanish-language radioverse, prone to sensationalist noise and cheap jabs. Every day from 5 to 7 p.m. on Actualidad (WURN-AM, 1020), Camacho is just as likely to level hard-hitting questions at politicians across the ideological spectrum as to interview doctors working on important research, musicians performing across the globe, or local professors conducting sociological studies. He welcomes anyone and everyone to his show, maintains a cool and collected stance, and delves deep into far-ranging issues. And perhaps most important, he seems comfortable enough to understand the story isn't about him.
Don Francisco has been in the business so long that his life is slowly transmogrifying into a daytime variety show. At the age of 70 — when most South Floridians have retired and taken to wandering around the mall food court — the Chilean talk-show host was recently hit with a paternity suit by 43-year-old Patricio Flores Mundaca, who claimed his mother once had an affair with The Don while she was working as a hotel maid. To make matters juicier, Francisco was allegedly caught bribing a biochemist to alter the paternity test. But after 49 years at the helm of Sábado Gigante — Univision's irrepressible and unapologetic pastiche of buxom models, weepy interviews, and dancing dwarfs — the king of kitsch can be forgiven for a few transgressions. Besides, he looks great. If Charlie Sheen has tiger blood, Don Francisco's bodily fluid comprises dragon DNA and Johnny Walker Black. Since bringing his show to Miami in 1986, he continues to strut around the stage like an ultratan AARP avenger in impeccably tailored suits. Born Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld in Talca, Chile, while World War II was just getting underway, Don Francisco is the epitome of an entertainer. His latest foibles only make the man behind the tan mask all that more human.
Marc Hackman is like every other sportscaster in the country — prone to pukey clichés, blatant pandering, and an almost encyclopedic store of useless information. Except Hackman isn't really a sportscaster or radio personality. He's not even a real person. He's a hack, a construct created by 790 the Ticket station program director Marc "Hoch" Hochman to serve as an ad hoc (excuse the pun) guest from Miami when sports shows across the nation come calling. Instead of getting a sports insider talking about the Heat or Hurricanes, unsuspecting hosts are treated to the most hackneyed, cornball, goofball sportscaster imaginable. It's the best kind of satire — just credible enough to keep unwitting hosts from hanging up, but over-the-top absurd enough so his appearances provide pure comedy gold for Miami listeners who are in on the gag. Here's Hackman talking to a Cleveland station about the Heat's early-season troubles: "There's an old saying that every dog has its day, and we've been saying in Miami radio for a while that even when there's darkness, one size fits all." On air in Chicago, he likened the Dolphins' problems to a pizza: "It's like a Chicago deep-dish pizza — lots of layers and lots of sausage." He's apt to ramble nonsensically, make up silly facts ("UM President Donna Shalala invented the pantsuit"), and mispronounce names such as Heat coach Erik Spolestra (instead of Spoelstra). Catch Marc Hackman bits periodically weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m. or in rebroadcasts on the 790 website.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®