Face it, whether you’ve been out all night or at work all day, you don’t get by without an update. We mean information, dig? Or, as some might succinctly call it, news. And whether the news you seek involves traffic, weather, culture, crime or who’s zooming who at the Shore Club, the best place to find it is on the boob tube, where South Floridians are fortunate enough to have stations representing all four of the nation’s major networks. Of course, none of the four would mean much without their on-air talent, by which we mean the reporters and the anchors who give us the fix we need to keep up with ourselves, and we wouldn’t have a story without talking to the talent themselves.
But, as you might suspect, those who deliver the news lead late-breaking lives and are not so easy to track down. Nevertheless 944 endured and, after a hop, skip and a couple jumps, managed to land three of the very best newscasters we have. That we did so on Earth Day at Grass seemed to be beside the point, until we considered the trio’s innate instinct to go where the story goes, no matter who’s in it. This time, it just so happens to be them — and damn lucky for us that it is.
Erika Von Tiehl
We don’t get why the honchos at CBS corporate are having trouble anchoring their evening broadcast, not when they’ve got talent like Erika Von Tiehl among their ranks. Then again, if Tiehl went national, we’d be completely adrift. Born in Pasadena, Calif., obviously to someone other than a little old lady, the Channel 4 fixture is all that an anchor should be — and then some. We mean poised, got it? And keen enough to give us the news we need without resorting to tears or other sundry histrionics. Maybe it’s the fact that the ’caster earned her stripes doing a short stint out of a single-wide newsroom in Eureka, Calif., or her subsequent stint in that shuffling town of Buffalo, N.Y., where for another set of back-to-back 365s she held down the desk at ABC affiliate WKBW. Whatever it is, Tiehl’s got chops and she’s not afraid to cut into our lives twice every weekday. We, for one of the millions who watch, wouldn’t want it any other way.
If you haven’t collided with Michael Cohen at one of the many parties he attends each night, you’ve surely caught the hepcat covering the action in his weekly “Seen on the Scene” reports for Channel 7. To many, though, a party’s not really a party until a celebrity shows up, and Cohen seems to have some kinda knack for being where the most bold-faced names happen to be swingin’. Perhaps that’s why the folks at People hired him on as an on-the-spot stringer way back when, or why US Weekly tried to steal him away. Either way, in addition to his Monday spots for FOX, Cohen’s now Miami editor for no less a hot sheet than In Touch Weekly and he’s having a blast doing both. “Taking yourself too seriously in entertainment journalism,” says our man Cohen, “is not a good look.” We couldn’t agree more.
Whether it’s a gang of masked men sticking up a Broward County IHOP for nickels and dimes or some punks torching a Miami Beach synagogue purely outta spite, Amara Sohn is on the scene, filing detailed on-air reports for South Florida’s NBC affiliate, often within minutes of the crime. But covering the misdeeds of the less-than-better behaved is only part of this Cali-born reporter’s beat and it’s her least favorite. She does have a most-favorite story though: the one about Chinese-Jamaican tofu kingpin George Yap, who not only runs the Sunshine State’s largest sprout farm, he does it smack from the center of Liberty City, where his LEASA Industries gives first, second and sometimes even third chances to single moms, high school drop outs and ex-cons, just so long as they keep up the good work — and gives our lady Sohn something good to report about at 6 and 10.