© 2024 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Sergio R. Bustos

Sergio R. Bustos

Vice President for News

He joined WLRN as VP for News in January 2023 to lead the NPR affiliate's award-winning news team.

Bustos was a reporter for two decades at newspapers large and small, including The Philadelphia Inquirer, before becoming an editor at the Miami Herald in 2005, and since has served as editor of POLITICO Florida and deputy opinion editor for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Most recently, Bustos was Enterprise/Politics Editor for the USA Today Network-Florida’s 18 newsrooms.

Bustos also worked as regional manager with the local-journalism nonprofit Report for America will jumpstart efforts to secure resources for WLRN News’ ambitious plans. He was South regional manager for RFA, a non-profit that seeks to fill “news deserts” caused by the nationwide crisis in journalism.

Born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in Annandale, Va., Bustos began his journalism career at The Washington Post — delivering the newspaper as a teenager in suburban northern Virginia.

After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, Bustos went to work as a reporter for newspapers in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley — the News-Virginian in Waynesboro and Daily News-Leader in Staunton — before becoming a general assignment reporter at the Wilmington, Del., News-Journal.

He later joined The Philadelphia Inquirer as a reporter after his News-Journal editor recruited him to the big-city newspaper.

At The Inquirer, he won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in 1992 for a series of stories that revealed how courts and police routinely violated rights of Spanish-speaking farmworkers in southeastern Pennsylvania.

He also was among the lead reporters who exposed a scandal involving thousands of fraudulent absentee ballots that prompted a federal judge to nullify the election of a Democratic state senator. The Inquirer was later named as a finalist for the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for the stories.

He was one of 10 journalists nationwide to be awarded a John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation grant to study at the University of Southern California’s Center for International Journalists, where he traveled and wrote extensively about Mexico and Cuba in 1992-1993.

Bustos spent more than six years as a Washington correspondent for the former Gannett News Service. He covered the contentious national debate over immigration and border security following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, for Gannett’s southwestern newspapers, including The Arizona Republic.

He joined the Miami Herald as a first-time editor in 2005. He ran the teams covering police and courts, as well as Broward County, and he served as state and politics editor. He also was Sunday editor. In 2012, he supervised an award-winning investigation into a local congressman’s involvement in a campaign finance scandal, and oversaw coverage of several governor races and presidential elections. He co-authored a book, Miami's Criminal Past Uncovered, chronicling the city’s most notorious crimes, with Herald reporter Luisa Yanez in 2007.

Bustos returned to reporting in 2015 when he joined The Associated Press as a national political correspondent to cover the 2016 presidential campaign, assigned to cover candidates Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

He was later named editor of POLITICO Florida, where he edited a series of stories that led to the resignation of one of Florida’s most powerful state senators amid sexual harassment allegations from six women who were on the lawmaker’s staff or had lobbied him. He oversaw coverage of the Florida Legislature.

Before joining WLRN, he was Enterprise/Politics Editor for the USA Today Network-Florida’s 18 newsrooms. He coordinated coverage of the 2022 governor and U.S. Senate elections and worked with other newsrooms to cover Gov. Ron DeSantis’ controversial migrant relocation program and the devastating impact of Hurricane Ian.

Person Page