Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Arnold Diaz, a bold investigative reporter at three New York City television stations, passed away on October 24 at the age of 74. Known for his passionate segments that exposed con artists, scammers, and others who took advantage of consumers, Diaz was dedicated to not only helping victims but also embarrassing wrongdoers. His iconic investigative reports, such as “Shame on You,” brought attention to issues and gave a voice to those who were often ignored.

Diaz spent over 20 years at WCBS, Channel 2, where his investigations were introduced with a catchy jingle and an animation featuring a hand wagging its index finger. The segment later moved to WNYW, Channel 5, and was renamed “Shame, Shame, Shame,” and then to WPIX, Channel 11, where it was called “What a Shame!” In an interview before retiring last year, Diaz expressed his gratitude for his dream job of standing up for the little guy and holding the bad guys accountable. His reports shed light on issues like lousy landlords, greedy businesses, and incompetent government agencies.

One of Diaz’s notable investigations from the early 1990s exposed a company that sold credit-card-activated fax machines promising quick profits. He confronted the company’s president, Sheri Cohen, in a basement office and even tracked down consumers who never received the equipment. Thanks to Diaz’s reporting, Cohen was eventually charged with wire fraud and convicted. Over the years, Diaz won 48 New York Emmy Awards for his outstanding work.

Diaz’s reporting style often led to confrontations and backlash, with people spitting, cursing, and even brandishing guns in his presence. However, he was proud of the impact his work had on his audience and the justice it brought. Born in Brooklyn in 1949, Diaz moved to Florida as a child and eventually pursued a career in journalism. He worked at various television stations before joining WCBS, where he made a name for himself with groundbreaking investigations. He later transitioned to ABC’s “20/20” and then returned to local news.

Diaz retired in 2021, leaving behind a legacy of impactful reporting that empowered consumers and exposed wrongdoing. His passionate approach to journalism was influenced by his Cuban heritage and his working-class upbringing in Brooklyn. Diaz is survived by his wife, children, sister, and grandsons.

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