Communication Vet Steps Into Media Officer Role

Matt Myerhoff

Matt Myerhoff, the newest media information officer (MIO) for the City of Malibu, is not worried about the high turnover rate that the position has so far created—although he is the third MIO in less than two years.

“I plan to and hope to stay here a good long while,” said Myerhoff, who began the job in August.

Myerhoff, 42, takes over from previous MIO Sandi Turner, who vacated the position in April of this year. Turner, who began her work with the city in July 2013, became part time in January and eventually left the position due to “personal obligations.”

Previous to Sandi Turner, the position was held by Olivia Damavandi, who left the position in March 2013. Damavandi held the job for nearly two years, before leaving to move to the East Coast. The position salary ranges from $68,673 to $89,275, plus benefits. Assistant city manager Reva Feldman refused to disclose the specific amount.

“I hope that as I begin to settle in and make the best of it … I will ensure that there’s not a high turnover rate,” Myerhoff said.

“I’m old already, so that’s not really possible,” he joked.

Originally from the San Fernando Valley, Myerhoff went to graduate school at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. 

Myerhoff, who is married and lives in Westwood, comes to the position with experience in city government, having been the communications director for LA City Council members Mitch Englander and Brad Smith. He has also been the corporate communications manager for the LA Tourism and Convention Board.

Given these experiences, Myerhoff plans to be actively involved in spreading information from the city to its citizens and media outlets.

Back in 2011, when the position was created, a majority of the City Council justified the new job as a means of improving the city’s media presence and image. Originally, according to officials, the new position would help the council and city staff be on the same page when interacting with the numerous government and private agencies that have a stake in Malibu.

“I do plan to be very hands-on with the local media that we have here, especially considering what a small community this is,” Myerhoff said.

In his previous job, Myerhoff mentioned that he worked hard to get to know local media.

“I got to know them, developed close relationships with them all the time, and I plan to do the same here,” said Myerhoff, in response to comments that his predecessor did not work hard to reach out to local media.

Myerhoff added that although he is not a Malibu resident, he is already familiar with the lay of the land.

“It’s a beautiful community in a gorgeous setting, where I’ve spent thousands of hours of my life, playing in the surf, biking and hiking in the mountains,” Myerhoff said, adding, “I do know that small communities tend to be more responsive.”

Myerhoff also said he is looking forward to serving.

“I really really love city government,” said Myerhoff, “It’s, in my opinion, just about the best way that you can do some form of public service.”

When asked what new things he will be bringing to the job, Myerhoff pleaded for a little patience.

“It’s only my third day,” he said in a recent interview, “I’m still wondering where the paperclips are kept.”

On a more serious note, Myerhoff did mention that he would “be bringing some new ideas and some fresh initiatives,” to the desk of the MIO but did not mention specifics.

He also summed up his priorities, saying that he hopes to communicate policies, programs and services of the city, as well as foster two-way communication between the city and stakeholders, “and ultimately to use all of those to better serve the community.”