| Columns |

WLRN Cans Anchor Phil Latzman and News Director Dan Grech

If you wake up to WLRN weekday mornings, you might have noticed a familiar voice missing from the airwaves. Last week, the Miami-Dade County School Board-owned public radio station fired anchor/reporter Phil Latzman after he allegedly stormed out of a training session. Latzman's departure follows the canning of news director Dan Grech two weeks ago. News staffers who spoke to Riptide on the condition of anonymity insist the departures do not indicate inner turmoil at WLRN, which has a partnership with the Miami Herald to produce content. And according to the blog Random Pixels, which first reported the firings, Latzman and Grech were let go for personnel reasons.

The blog claims a source at the station said Laztman was fired after storming out of a training session he had been instructed not to attend. He had protested a reduced newscast schedule to make time for the training session. According to Random Pixels' source, Latzman lashed out at interim news director Alicia Zuckerman. "Nobody likes you, and nobody wants to work with you!" Latzman allegedly yelled at Zuckerman.

Latzman follows Grech, who got the ax July 8. According to an email from WLRN's general manager, John Labonia: "Dan Grech is no longer with WLRN/Miami Herald News, effective immediately."

Grech oversaw a team of six radio reporters who were based out of the Miami Herald newsroom and was in charge of the entire news operation at WLRN. Their departures come on the heels of WLRN and the Herald announcing an expansion of the radio station's Latin America desk, anchored by former Time magazine correspondent Tim Padgett.

Neither Grech nor Latzman responded to requests for comment.

Follow Francisco Alvarado on Twitter: @thefrankness.

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