American Airlines Outsources Its In-Flight Magazine

My first full-time magazine job was at American Way, the in-flight for the airline. This was circa 1993. Zac worked there, too, prior to joining D, from 2005 to 2007. Eric did several tours there (and at Spirit, Southwest’s in-flight, which was later taken over by Pace). Jessica Jones, who works for our D Home, used to work there. And American Way’s creative director (David Radabaugh) and senior art director (Brian Smith) once worked for D. Point is: there are a lot of connections between that magazine and this one.

So I was dismayed to learn that the operation will no longer be run in-house by American Airlines Publishing. The airline has decided to outsource the magazine to a London-based company called Ink. The first Ink-stained issue will find its way into seat-back pockets in January 2015. I asked Adam Pitluk, the director of AA Publishing, for some more details about the move.

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Brendan Higgins Fired From Channel 11

Word comes that CBS Channel 11 has fired its morning anchor for his terrible, horrible, no good, very bad night in Aspen. Gotta say, though, not a bad mugshot.

Update (4:32) Here is the official statement from Higgins.

If my email inbox is any indication, many of you are wondering about a recent incident in Aspen, Colo., that resulted in my arrest. Sorry it took so long to issue a post as I’ve been dealing with the related matters. First, I need to apologize for the negative attention this incident has brought to my wife and our family, our friends and the many wonderful people I’ve worked with over the years. I’m also sorry to the authorities in Aspen, who do a great job every day. I simply put myself and others in a bad situation, which will not happen again. My plan is to answer the legal charges against me. Thanks to all of you who have sent your support.

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About the Use of the Word ‘Portmanteau’ in Our July Issue

In the July issue of D Magazine, the word “portmanteau” appeared in two stories. You may well wonder how rare an occurrence this was, and I will tell you how rare it was. From what I can gather, in the 40 years that the magazine has been in business, the word “portmanteau” has appeared in our pages just four times — including the two examples from July.

Zac used the word in his profile of Councilman Dwaine Caraway, explaining that when a constituent called him “trill,” he was combining the words “true” and “real.” And I used the word in my profile of Matt Rutledge, whose former company Woot combined the words “wow” and “loot.” At least two readers noticed our “portmanteau”s:

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Barrett Brown and Anonymous

Considering his future plans, Barrett Brown told Tim Rogers in early 2011: “I might move to New York or L.A. I might stay here. Or I might be in jail.”

Frequent readers of this blog know already which of those relocations came to pass, because Brown has lately been our Seagoville Federal Correctional Institution correspondent. He was arrested in September 2012 after posting a video online — following an earlier FBI raid on his apartment — in which he threatened to kill federal agents. He got some good news in March, when the government dropped most of its charges against him. He no longer faces the prospect of a 105-year prison sentence, but he still awaits sentencing (on Oct. 6) for obstruction of justice and those death threats he made.

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Jim Schutze Was Right — Six Years Ago — About John Wiley Price

It is time to give Jim Schutze (aka Charles Schultz) his propers. In Sunday’s DMN, Steve Thompson wrote a story about the John Wiley Price indictment and the story it tells about the commissioner’s meddling with the inland port. Schutze wrote that story in 2008. Oh, maybe not that exact story. Though Schutze did mention the Perot family and how they might benefit from a stalled inland port, he didn’t ever use the word “Hillwood.” But, really, he had it. He said Price was running a shakedown, and he said it with the help of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. She deserves credit, too. “I see all of these different deals that he’s trying to do over the years, shaking people down and all that kind of stuff,” she told Schutze. Go back and read it. It’s worth your time.

Something else interesting about that Schutze story: he mentions that State Senator Royce West played a role in Price’s scheme. Why is that interesting? Because it is. Just something to think about.

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Steve Blow’s Immigration Column Is Extremely Sloppy

If it seems like we are constantly taking Morning News Metro columnist Steve Blow to task over this or that, that’s not an unfair assessment. In our defense, he needs to be taken to task quite a bit more than we actually have the time or energy for. I almost let his latest column — he believes our immigration courts aren’t equipped to handle the current situation — slip by with just a bit of gentle needling in Leading Off this morning. But then I read Bill Holston’s note in the comments, and then I read what Dallas Observer editor Joe Tone said a few more comments down, and then I read Blow’s piece again.

It is the worst kind of bad: dangerous. Someone might actually believe it.

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Jim Schutze Changes His Name to Charles Schultz and Decides He Likes Mark Lamster After All

Don’t know about you, but one of my regular stops every day is the blog for the Architect’s Newspaper. Yesterday they posted an item about how Mark Lamster is winning hearts and minds in Dallas. They wrote:

Since arriving in North Texas to take up the job of Dallas Morning News architecture critic, Mark Lamster has been under a trial by fire, suffering scrutiny and criticism for everything from his Yankee origin to his unsympathetic take on the city’s built environment. Well, local opinions seem to be warming a bit to the sharp-tongued scribe. In a recent piece in the Dallas Observer, Charles Schultz went so far as to praise how quickly Lamster has come to understand Big D’s development landscape and the insider track around its so-called zoning regulations. Schultz even showed a little contrition for a previous quip: “I apologize for calling him ‘Mark Lamster, New York Pinhead’ when he first showed up.”

Two things about that. 1) Guests who join us tonight at the Rustic for our Best of Big D party will get an early look at our August issue, in which we name Lamster the city’s best critic. So the editors at the Architect’s Newspaper are quite right. And 2) please, everyone, let us forevermore refer to the Observer’s bearded, laconic gadfly as Charles Schultz.

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A.H. Belo Sells Providence Journal

News came yesterday that A.H. Belo, the Morning News’ parent company, has sold the Providence Journal for $46 million. Belo will retain the paper’s HQ building and some other real estate, seeking to sell those assets in a separate deal. The managing editor of the Boston Business Journal analyzes the deal from the buyer’s viewpoint (New Media Investment Group). Here’s my analysis from the seller’s viewpoint: good. Belo has now shed its distractions and is free to focus solely on its operations in North Texas (which include the Denton Record-Chronicle). It appears to have gotten a good price for the ProJo. Its stock price ticked up ever so slightly this morning. Everything looks good. (Except for the front-page story this morning in the News about Mike Miles’ contract extension. Anyone who cared about that story learned about the development when they woke up yesterday.)

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D Magazine’s 40 Greatest Stories: Are There Any Decent Men in Dallas?

You might also consider this post an early plug for our 10 Most Eligible Men in Dallas contest, which will begin in the middle of next month. Sarah Hepola’s funny, thoughtful piece about her adventures in dating men she met online appeared in the February 2013 issue of D Magazine, and it is one of the 40 greatest stories we’ve ever published.

Spoiler Alert: Sarah hasn’t found her Mr. Right by the end of the article, so I asked her how things have been going in that realm since. She replied:

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Leading Off (7/23/2014)

Brad had tickets to the Jay Z-Beyonce show last night. So he asked me to fill in for him this morning.

Plano Man Arrested for $56,000 In Unpaid Tolls. What’s 50 grand to Robert Walter Dupree? Can you please remind me? According to the NTTA, it’s more than 2,110 passes through a toll station without paying. First they had to find him. He was arrested for failing to use his signal in The Colony. No word on how hard he may have bawled.

Migrant Children Not Showing Up to Immigration Hearings. If you grew up with holes in your Zapatos, you’d be celebrating the minute you thought those days were behind you. Which might explain why 18 of the 20 children whose cases were scheduled yesterday in federal court missed their hearings. It’s also possible the children never received proper notice. What kinds of facts are those?

Plano Thanks Residents for Conserving Water…with Water. Calling it a “water holiday” is kind of a beautiful lie. Apparently it was mostly “stale” water the city needed to get rid of anyway. And only lawns with odd-numbered addresses got the extra watering. The other residents are finding that keeping all that green grass pretty hurts. But, as someone once said, perfection is a disease of a nation.

Cowboys Legend Dies. Robert Newhouse, Jr. played 12 seasons with the Cowboys, all in the Landry era. He was irreplaceable as a blocker for Tony Dorsett, but he was also the first running back to throw a touchdown in a Super Bowl. He died yesterday, after a long battle with heart disease. He was 64.

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Dallas Morning News Adds Another ‘Subject Matter Expert’

Poynter reports on Dr. Seema Yasmin, a doctor-turned-journalist who is the third of the Dallas Morning News’ so-called “subject matter experts.” That’s the term the paper is using to describe their joint hires with area universities, a funding scheme that has helped the paper hire an architecture critic (Mark Lamster) and art critic (Richard Brettell). The experiment has worked pretty well in those cases. We’ve just named Lamster “best critic” in the August issue, and Brettell has added welcomed depth to the paper’s art coverage, even if it is a little odd that the art critic at a city’s daily newspaper was once the director of the city’s museum.

So what does Yasmin bring? Well, for example, after the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, Yasmin discovered that she knew one of the HIV/AIDS researchers on board, Dr. Joep Lange, and she wrote a column about the doctor and his work.

And Yasmin isn’t the first doctor to jump careers into journalism. Attendees of the Mayborn Conference this past weekend heard Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink speak.

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When Will Someone Put Tim Rogers In His Place?

Look at this smug jerk. Who is typing this sentence and has had about enough of him? Me, that’s who. I’m sure you agree. So many reasons. Here are just a few.

1) He dresses like this every single day. Sunglasses, too. Even if he wasn’t wearing them, he refuses to look anyone in the eye.
2) He’s too good to actually read our blog. Pretty proud of it, really.
3) I can put it in no plainer terms: Tim Rogers of D Magazine hates our troops.

So, when is someone going to come along and put him in his place? I’m sorry I had to air our private business on the blog, but he forced my hand.

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