DISD picks Arlington spokeswoman as new communications chief

DISD picks Arlington spokeswoman as new communications chief

Credit: City of Arlington

The Dallas Independent School District has hired City of Arlington spokeswoman Rebecca Rodriguez to be its communications director, News 8 learned Thursday. Rodriguez will take over the post vacated by Jennifer Sprague, whose salary ($185,000) was higher than even Dallas Police Chief David Brown's, triggered controversy that lasted until she announced her resignation in late December.

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by MATT GOODMAN

WFAA

Posted on February 14, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 14 at 10:18 PM

FIRST ON NEWS 8

DALLAS -- The Dallas Independent School District has hired City of Arlington spokeswoman Rebecca Rodriguez to be its communications director, News 8 learned Thursday.

Rodriguez will take over the post vacated by Jennifer Sprague, whose salary ($185,000) was higher than even Dallas Police Chief David Brown's, triggered controversy that lasted until she announced her resignation in late December.

It's not clear how much Rodriguez will be paid or when she will begin.

However, days before Sprague's resignation, Dallas ISD Superintendent Mike Miles met with The Dallas Morning News editorial board and admitted he "should have done a better job" comparing salaries for his cabinet members with those of administrators in similarly-sized districts.

And in an interview with KERA's Think last month, Miles admitted he needed to "do a better job" of "learning the history of Dallas, learning the city, learning the district."

Rodriguez is no stranger to the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. The Kingsville native has worked in North Texas since 1996, during a brief stint as a freelance reporter for KDFW (Ch. 4). The next year, she was hired as an anchor and reporter for KTVT (Ch. 11) until 2004. She worked at News 8 from 2004 to 2006, which she left to begin her own public relations company. Ciano Media touts itself as a communications firm, and highlights its strengths in Hispanic marketing.

Rodriguez began her job as a marketing communications manager for the City of Arlington on Oct. 31, 2011. According to a release announcing her hire, Rodriguez' role includes speaking on the city's behalf, leading its marketing and information efforts, and overseeing Arlington's website and cable channel.

In her time working as a public employee, Rodriguez has been the city's voice on the impact of severe weather on city operations, street closures, ordinances and other municipal topics.

Rodriguez has two decades of professional media experience which, in addition to North Texas, includes anchoring television broadcasts at stations in Waco, Austin and Seattle. She's also worked as a correspondent for Fox News and CNN.

We've asked both the city of Arlington and Dallas ISD for comment and will update accordingly. Rodriguez has not commented.

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