MIDTOWN — Mayor Bill de Blasio's departing press secretary said he needs to develop a thicker skin and that a problem with "information flow" was one of the reasons she's leaving after just a year on the job.
Karen Hinton, in an interview that will air on Channel 7's "Up Close" at 11 a.m. Sunday, said her now former boss is having trouble communicating his accomplishments on issues such as universal pre-K and affordable housing to the public.
"Most New York City mayors have a love/hate relationship with news media, de Blasio is no different," Hinton said. "As I was leaving City Hall I told him, I said: 'You need to have a little bit of a tougher skin and you need to develop better relationships with the news media and I think he understands that and he wants to do that."
Asked by host Bill Ritter why she was leaving after just a year, Hinton said she wanted to spend more time with her daughter before she graduates high school next year but that there were some communication issues inside City Hall between the mayor and his top spokeswoman.
"To be honest, there were some information flow issues that I was dealing with at City Hall," she said. "Those are not uncommon problems for a press secretary, I think they often happen. But I think that what is uncommon is this mayor faces an issue with the difference between perception of what he's doing and the reality of what he's doing."
"This mayor has done more in two years than most mayors do in four, six or eight. I mean the results are very striking and he is having issues communicating that message," she continued. "I think he's going to figure it out. I think he recognizes that it's an issue and he wants to figure it out, and I think by the time election rolls around he will have."
De Blasio has recently started doing more town halls and now appears on a weekly call-in show on WNYC.
Hinton formerly worked for Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he was secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where de Blasio also worked. She is also married to Howard Glaser, a former top Cuomo aide.
The mayor and governor have been engaged in a nasty feud that has affected public policy.
Hinton said it's "no secret" that Cuomo was displeased with her decision to work for de Blasio, but she hopes the two men could work out their differences.
"These two individuals are what I would call both forces of nature. And they are going to have to make their own decisions about how to work together more effectively. It's between the two of them," Hinton said.
Her departure comes as the mayor is dealing with continuous news coverage of five investigations probing his administration.
The investigations have hurt the mayor but Hinton said she's confident de Blasio didn't commit any wrongdoing and will be re-elected.
De Blasio gave Hinton a hug and praised her during her final press conference Wednesday in Queens.
"Karen has done a fantastic job," de Blasio said. "And certainly she’s done a lot to help this entire team to better explain to the people of New York City the things we’re trying to get done, and to hear the concerns of the people of New York City, and act on them. So, Karen, job well done, and you will be missed."