Publishing the two novels she has completed may have to wait a little longer. Now that Yvette Miley has been promoted to the national broadcast stage, her free time may become even scarcer.
After working in various capacities for NBC in South Florida and Alabama for more than 19 years, Miley will join MSNBC, the national cable news network known for its political coverage and liberal-leaning talk shows, as the network’s executive editor. In her new role, Miley will assist the managing editor in overseeing the editorial content of MSNBC Dayside.
The cable channel is the result of a partnership between Microsoft and NBC. The station features original stories as well as content from NBC News and its partners.
Miley, of Miramar, said she has been recruited for several positions since the middle of last year. She finally accepted this one. She starts her new job in New York on June 1.
“This opportunity is not about me,’’ she told the South Florida Times this week. “It is about co-workers, family, teachers, community, Riviera Beach, Suncoast High, University of Florida and all the people who taught, nurtured, coached, mentored, guided, scolded, and supported me every step of the way.’’
Adding that her mother, Edna Whitaker, is her role model, she said, “As a representative of all who have touched me and encouraged me, I am thankful that MSNBC is giving me an opportunity to work for the first time in cable news. I am grateful for the chance given me to work for 20-plus years in the high-touch world of local news and I will carry lessons learned with me forever.’’
Miley’s ascent to a nationally prominent position comes as no surprise to those who know her.
“Her stellar reputation in our industry has helped retain and recruit the best and brightest to our television station,’’ said Ardyth “Ardy” Diercks, president and general manager of NBC6/WTVJ, in a statement last week announcing Miley’s promotion. “Her focus during breaking news and severe weather always brings our best to this community, informing our neighbors and even saving lives. Yvette has been a teacher and mentor to many of our team, and under her guidance so many have grown and been promoted.’’
Miley received her “calling” while growing up in what she called the “hood” in Riviera Beach.
The closet novelist told the South Florida Times in a previous interview that, “I always knew I wanted to be a journalist. I always knew that I wanted to write, to tell stories.”
Miley, who recently ushered her news station through the turmoil of a potential sale to another company and the possible resulting layoffs (although the sale never went through), also knows a little something about overcoming obstacles and defying low expectations.
The University of Florida graduate told the newspaper in 2007 that even though she was always attracted to the newsrooms she found at UF, “the dean of my college told me that I would not graduate and I would never get a job in this business.”
After graduating from UF with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications, she began her career as a sports writer for The Palm Beach Post.
She was hired as a producer at NBC 6/WTVJ in October 1991 and rose up the ranks, becoming an executive producer, managing editor and assistant news director.
After 10 years in South Florida, Miley was named vice president and news director at the NBC-owned station NBC 13/WVTM in Birmingham, Alabama.
In 2004, South Florida beckoned again, and Miley rejoined NBC 6/WTVJ as vice president and news director of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale-based NBC affiliate. Miley’s reformatting of the late news led to its top ranking in 2007 among the highly coveted group of adults ages 25 to 54 and adults ages 18 to 49.
Miley also launched a new 7 p.m. broadcast dubbed “South Florida Nightly News” and a new community-based hour at 11 a.m. titled, “South Florida Today.”
She would not give her age, but said that she is “old enough to have a little wisdom that comes with experience; young enough to know there are many more things life will teach me.”
Her journey has been greatly impacted by her lifelong love of reading. She said the most significant book in her life is a black writers’ anthology. The book, which she said is “the size of a dictionary, full of poems, essays, from Martin Luther King to slave stories to Nikki Giovanni,” was significant to her success, she said.
“I think I identified with those writers early on and I think they helped prepare me, by knowing their struggle, it helped prepare me for the struggle I would face myself,” she said.
She has won numerous awards, snagging two Emmys for coverage of the Andrew Cunanan/Gianni Versace story and the Downtown Miami Tornado.
She won the Dupont Award and a Peabody Award for coverage of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2003, four Associated Press Awards in 2004, and an additional Edward R. Murrow Award in 2004.
In 2007, the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce recognized her as “corporate executive of the year.’’
Photo: Yvette Miley