Gators lead Herald
Mindy Marques Gonzalez and Rick Hirsch are believed to be first UF duo to head the newsroom of The Miami Herald
In what is believed to be a first, two of the College’s graduates are leading The Miami Herald newsroom. Last October 26, Aminda “Mindy” Marques Gonzalez, JM 1986, was promoted from managing editor to executive editor; Rick Hirsch, JM 1980, was named managing editor on January 5.
Marques Gonzalez is the second woman and first Hispanic to head the newsroom of The Miami Herald. After working for the newspaper as an intern, she started full-time with The Herald in 1986 and worked as a reporter and editor before leaving in 2002 to become the Miami bureau chief for People magazine. She returned to the Herald in 2007 to help launch the Miami.com entertainment site, before moving on to become the paper’s executive features editor, senior editor for news and managing editor.
“I always wanted to work for The Miami Herald,” said Marques Gonzalez, who was born in New York, raised in Hialeah and upon graduating from UF, received the Dean’s Cup for professional promise. “I was the geeky kid who would get excited at seeing The Miami Herald delivery truck.”
Hirsch has spent his entire career at the Herald, joining the paper full-time in 1980. He has served as editor of numerous sections, overseen the paper’s recruitment of young journalists and focused on connecting the newspaper to evolving new media. He most recently directed The Herald’s online efforts and built numerous partnerships including a radio partnership with WLRN public radio.
While the two didn’t cross paths in Gainesville, they have worked together off and on since 1986. They also shared the experience of losing their homes in south Miami-Dade County during Hurricane Andrew in 1992 while covering the storm and its aftermath.
“We had that common experience,’’ Hirsch said. “If you lost your home, Andrew lasted a year; if you didn’t, it was a few months.”
Senior Editor Dave Wilson, Breaking News Editor Patricia Andrews, Mindy Marques Gonzalez and Rick Hirsch. Click photo to zoom.
Hirsch also credits Buddy Davis, Jon Roosenraad and Ralph Lowenstein, saying of the former Dean “he’s as good as it gets, an inspirational person.”
For Marques Gonzalez, she too, points to Roosenraad and Chance, but also to a larger lesson she learned about fact errors from Journalism Associate Professor Ed Weston.
“Today as an editor, I have a low threshold for fact errors,” said Marques Gonzalez. “I still remember going to cover a city commission meeting and listening to a local pastor speak about an issue. I turned to one of his congregants to get the spelling of his name. I wrote the story, turned it in and got a big fat zero because I misspelled the pastor’s name. It took a lot for me to make up for that zero, but it taught me a great lesson that I use to this day.”
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