Which one is a more honest portrayal of life in Dallas?
If I’m right, Decherd is playing weird games with A. H. Belo, but there may be a method to his madness.
First, to the numbers. Belo projects $37 to $41 million in adjusted EBITDA this year. Taking the higher number and deducting their planned extra expenditures (required pension plan payments, a voluntary pension plan payment, announced dividends, and capital expenditures), it looks to me like they will leak cash to the tune of $11 million or more. (The accountants among us can see the numbers after the jump.)
The EBITDA has already been adjusted downward to take into account the company’s $7 million investment ($3 million in setup; $4 million in marketing) in LocalEdge, basically a franchise with the Hearst Corp. to sell “Internet marketing services to small and medium businesses.” Â One might suspect that another newspaper company is not the place to look for the best web-based ideas in 2012, and this one in particular seems slightly insane, but Belo says it expects to make $18 million on it in 2014. That’s a stunningly good investment if it works. (Maybe it will. What do I know? I’m the guy who said Twitter wouldn’t last two years. Oh, wait! Twitter still hasn’t made a dime. But it is still there. Internet hope springs eternal.)
But the voluntary pension payment is the interesting thing here. The company is saying it may make a $10 million payment above what is required. Why over-fund the pension plan? One theory is that Decherd wants to keep other children out of the playpen. Decherd had an opportunity to sell the long-suffering Riverside Press-Enterprise last year but declined. He seems to want to keep the status as quo as he can. The more unattractive the company is, the less interest anyone has in making a run for its shares.
Maybe I’m completely off-base. Decherd is a smart guy. There is a plan, there has to be. The fact that nobody I talked to can fathom it undoubtedly says more about us than it does about him.
Now, for those immersed in the subject, here are the numbers:
Over the weekend Royce West hosted a community meeting in Oak Cliff called “Eggs and Issues.” Several local police chiefs and Sheriff Lupe ValdezÂ made an appearance too. Also in attendance were local NORML board members Larry Talley and Eric Moreno, who wanted to talk to the police about, you know, maybe not arresting people for pot possession. In an email this morning, Talley said that “this was an unusually productive event for the issues regarding Harm Reduction.” Talley and Moreno describe the meeting — and another meeting with the Sheriff the group is planning — in this video.
The 8th annual Savor Dallas, presented by Kroger, March 30-31, is a “celebration of wine, food, spirits and the arts”.Â The largest premium wine and food festival in Texas features cuisine from over 50 of the area’s top chefs and more than 400 premium wines, spirits, and beers at its events throughout the weekend.
Highlights include a special pre-event on March 29th, with Maximilian Riedel, the 11th generation of the famous Riedel Glassmaking dynasty, conducting a guided Riedel wine tasting; the popular Arts District Wine Stroll in the Dallas Arts District and AT&T Performing Arts Center on Friday March 30th; followed by “Sips and Sounds” at the historic Kessler Theater in Bishop Arts, with a concert from Texas sensation Carrie Rodriguez;Â “Wine, Women and Lunch”, a benefit for the Dallas Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, with top women chefs and winemakers on Saturday March 31; a Reserve Tasting of super premium wines and spirits that evening at the new Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas; and wrapping up with an extravagant sampling event–The International Grand Tasting–featuring top restaurants, and wines, beers and spirits from around the world.
For a complete schedule, details for each event, and to purchase tickets, go to www.SavorDallas.com or call 888-728-6747.
A few years ago, Sean Salisbury was living in Dallas, working as an analyst for ESPN. Then some other stuff happened. Now, after years of battling depression and paranoia, he tells the New York Daily News and sports writer Jeff Pearlman that he’s ready for a comeback. Salisbury will do TV, radio, anything you want. He says he’s hit rock bottom and he promises he learned from his mistakes. (Translation: give him a job and he won’t show anyone his junk.) He also says he has a journal full of dirt he could spill on his former colleagues in the sports media, if he wanted do. But he doesn’t, because he says he’s “not into getting guys suspended and taking their careers away.”
Monday, you came much too soon.
Tonight, the two male co-hosts of the Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters series, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, will be doing some of their science-y tricks live at the Verizon Theatre. With help from the audience, the duo plans to perform on-stage experiments, show some videos, and engage in witty banter. Now, I do not watch Mythbusters on a regular basis. But given the choice between, say, American Pickers and Mythbusters, I would go with Mythbusters almost every time.
And since it’s spring break for lucky kids, the Museum of Nature and Science has put together a week of educational fun and extended their weeknight hours to 6 p.m. Today’s activities include the Electric Theater show (super cool demonstrations of electromagnetic waves), the planetarium, Imax movies, and the Planet Shark: Predator or Prey exhibit (which costs extra).
For more to do tonight, go here. And don’t forget that it’s time to vote on your favorite places to eat and drink in Dallas.
Over here, we have coverage of what you missed (or braved the rain and saw) at 35 Denton over the weekend. Over here, for no reason, it’s the collaboration between Andre 3000, Gorillaz, and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.
Based on his many posts to Twitter and Facebook during his short four days between gigs, you knew Robert would be itching to get back behind a keyboard in an official capacity. He is not yet in the system at the DMN, as far as I can tell, so Travis Hudson had to post this for him. If you had 7:56 a.m. in the pool, come collect your photo of John Wiley Price hosting his radio show.
Come for the alley-oop dunk in which former Maverick bench warmer Gerald Green gets the majority of his head over the rim, stay for the extended shot of playoff contributor DeShawn Stevenson reacting to said dunk.
You love to eat, and you love to drink, and most of all you love to insist upon bossing your friends and neighbors around, telling them where they’ve got to go to find the greatest grub in Dallas. Seriously, they tell us you’ve been truly insufferable lately, and they’ve asked us to intervene. We’re here to provide an outlet.
Voting has opened in our annual Readers’ Choice poll, and for the next two weeks we want to know your favorite restaurants and gourmet shops. You can vote once a day through March 25. The winners will be featured in our August 2012 issue.
We’re in desperate need of your opinions. Â So get to it.
DART Service Extends to Mesquite at a Steep Discount: Some neighboring cities are not happy that Mesquite is getting bus service today for the first time. Mesquite doesn’t participate in the 1 percent sales tax that funds the public transit organization.
Woman Files Title IX Complaint After Girls Left Out of Movie Trip: Remember that flap over Dallas ISD bringing the boys to the movie Red Tails, and leaving the girls in school to knit, or make cupcakes, or something? Well, now a mother, Lysandra Dial, has filed a Title IX complaint for gender discrimination.
For New Congressional District Hopefuls, Hope Springs Eternal: Here’s a complete rundown of candidates for statewide and local offices. That new district 33 has 14 individuals vying for the seat, including 11 democrats. I say we adopt a bracket system for determining the winner, because, hey, it’s March.
Bieber Tweets Phone Number, Dallas Man’s Week Ruined: If you are a young girl who finds Justin Bieber dreamy and follows his every move, then perhaps you were one of the thousand or so people who harassed a poor Dallas man whose phone number was one digit off from the one Bieber tweeted last week.