Feb 5, 2024 - News

WLRN journalists laid off as "Sundial" show is canceled

WLRN's "Sundial" team

The "Sundial" team. Photo: Courtesy of Carlos Frías/X

The beloved WLRN radio show "Sundial" was abruptly canceled Friday after over six years on the air.

Driving the news: Host Carlos Frías, an award-winning Miami journalist and author, wrote on social media that he and the entire team had been laid off without notice.

  • WLRN, South Florida's NPR member station, is replacing "Sundial" with an extra hour of the nationally syndicated "Here & Now" show beginning Monday.

Zoom in: "Sundial" is a Miami institution. Insightful interviews with local artists, writers and luminaries helped chronicle the many stories that make up Miami — the good, the bad and the hilarious.

  • Fans of the afternoon arts and culture show expressed outrage and confusion over its cancellation and an outpouring of love for the journalists.
  • Frías, who previously worked as the food editor at the Miami Herald, became the show's host in 2022. The team featured lead producer Leslie Ovalle Atkinson and associate producer Elisa Baena.
  • "Sundial" took over for "Tropical Currents" in 2017.

What they're saying: "What?! How is this possible? This was one of my favorite segments on WLRN," wrote Miami-Dade poetry ambassador Nicole Tallman on X.

  • "Sundial with @Carlos_Frias was a true public service. One of the realest things in Miami. This one hurts," Islandia Journal publisher Jason Katz wrote.
  • "@WLRNSundial was one of the few remaining local talk shows focused on local content in the Miami-Dade radio market," political consultant Fernand Amandi wrote.

The other side: WLRN CEO John LaBonia wrote in a statement that the station wants to "focus more resources on WLRN's award-winning newsroom" by bolstering its storytelling across daily newscasts, features and on the web.

  • It also plans on expanding its investigative journalism team.
  • "WLRN acknowledges Carlos, Leslie and Elisa for their strong contributions and positive impact on the South Florida community with guests exploring South Florida arts, culture, food, film, plays and books," LaBonia said.
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