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D Magazine Nominated For 8 City and Regional Magazine Awards

Pardon us a minute while we congratulate ourselves for scoring eight just-announced nominations for this year’s City and Regional Magazine Awards, which will be handed out in May at the CRMA conference in beautiful Dallas, Texas. These are the categories our staff is up for:

Arts & Culture Writing
Peter Simek

Writer of the Year
Michael J. Mooney

Photography
“The Dallas 40” (Elizabeth Lavin)

Civic Journalism
“The Next Dallas Boom” (Wick Allison)

Ancillary: Home/Shelter
D Home

Excellence Online
dmagazine.com

Blog Column
FrontBurner (Peter Simek)

Multiplatform Storytelling
“The Dallas 40”

If you’re wondering why Peter gets to claim authorship of FrontBurner, it’s because the CRMA rules require the three submissions for that category to all come under the same byline. I decided Peter had the most award-worthy material on this blog during the eligibility year and so he earned the nod.

John Neely Bryan was in high dudgeon after learning this. It was difficult to settle him down, even after I explained that his lack of physical embodiment rendered him ineligible.

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Leading Off (3/4/15)

Eddie Ray Routh Asking for a New Trial. Attorneys for the man convicted of killing Chris Kyle and Chad Littlefield have also filed a motion to overturn the recent verdict. This is surprising to nobody who has been paying attention.

Protesters Swarm Grapevine City Hall. This is in response to a Grapevine officer killing a 31-year-old unarmed Mexican citizen last month. This Star-Telegram story says that Domingo Garcia, who is representing the family of the dead man, “asked that a videotape of the shooting be released and that the officer be terminated.”

Teacher Recorded Saying Not Great Things in Class. A DISD student secretly recorded her middle school teacher cussing a lot, and at one point, talking about the size of his junk. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this story though, is where the principal’s first response was apparently to ask the parent to destroy the evidence. Not a good look.

Winter Is Coming, Again. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when. But regardless of when the weather rolls in, the highways might be backed up anyway.

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Bill O’Reilly Needs to Either Prove His Dallas-era Suicide Tale or ‘Fess Up—Or Step Aside

Wrapping up a guest appearance on Bill O’Reilly’s “The O’Reilly Factor” program last night, Fox News host/political commentator Megyn Kelly joked that he had become a real “sweetheart” during the last week, and she wryly wondered why. Kelly was right: the usually combative, right-leaning cable news host has appeared more subdued than usual lately, chastened even. The reason, I believe, is the still-unresolved, ticking time bomb over a story O’Reilly seems to have made up involving his work as a reporter in the 1970s at Dallas’ WFAA Channel 8, about the suicide of a figure in the JFK assassination probe. It’s a tale he needs to come clean about publicly—or else relinquish his top-rated news commentary show.

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Nina Pham: A Case Study in Media Manipulation

Please understand that I am not commenting here on the merits of Ebola survivor Nina Pham’s lawsuit against Texas Health Resources. She says she has nightmares and her hair is falling out. She says Presby used a video of her without her consent. Maybe she’s entitled to some money. And maybe, as she has said, she really does want to “make hospitals and big corporations realize that nurses and health care workers, especially frontline people, are important.”

No, what I want to talk about is Charla Aldous, the lawyer representing Pham. Because Aldous has pretty much posterized Texas Health, and right now she’s hanging on the rim, looking down at Texas Health, enjoying the afterglow of her monster dunk. If I’m reading her playbook correctly — and I’d like to think I am — here’s how she did it:

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Warren Buffett Recommends D Magazine to Berkshire Hathaway Shareholders

Over the weekend, legendary investor Warren Buffett, the “Sage of Omaha,” released his annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Each year the financial world pores over Buffett’s words as if they are tea leaves predicting the future of the world economy. And considering that Buffett is the world’s third-richest man, it’s not hard to understand why.

Well, among his advice this year: Read D Magazine.

Before I depart the subject of spin-offs, let’s look at a lesson to be learned from a conglomerate mentioned earlier: LTV. I’ll summarize here, but those who enjoy a good financial story should read the piece about Jimmy Ling that ran in the October 1982 issue of D Magazine. Look it up on the Internet.

Through a lot of corporate razzle-dazzle, Ling had taken LTV from sales of only $36 million in 1965 to number 14 on the Fortune 500 list just two years later. Ling, it should be noted, had never displayed any managerial skills. But Charlie told me long ago to never underestimate the man who overestimates himself. And Ling had no peer in that respect.

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Schutze Was at a Very Different DISD Meeting Than Was the Morning News

Do you know why it’s unfortunate that print media revenue is falling and online media revenue is a pie split so many different ways as to make it difficult to fund any sizable news-gathering operation? Do you know why it’s a shame that we live in an age where most cities, including Dallas, have one only one daily newspaper?

If you don’t, then I point you to Jim Schutze’s take on the same Dallas ISD board meeting that I mentioned (linking to a Dallas Morning News story) in this morning’s “Leading Off.” The Unfair Park account of what occurred is so different from the perspective offered by DMN reporters Tawnell Hobbs and Matthew Haag that I might believe you if you told me they had been filed from parallel universes:

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Trammell Crow Visits D Magazine’s EarBurner Podcast, Episode 2

Not that Trammell Crow, the other one. Trammell S. Crow, the real estate scion and the force behind Earth Day Texas. He was good enough to bring his posse to the Old Monk to chat with Tim Rogers and Zac Crain about the event that’s planned for the last weekend of April in Fair Park.

But don’t hit the snooze button just yet. Crow is an odd duck who doesn’t fit into all the usual stereotypes of a Dallas rich guy. It’s a fun conversation, even if Tim neglects to introduce himself and Zac at the outset.

Before I leave you to it, a couple of corrections:

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DMN Sets Twitter Goal for Its Reporters

Jeffrey Weiss used to cover religion for the Morning News until they killed that beat. Now he covers regional education issues. He has been a reporter for more than three decades. And he needs your help. On Tuesday, here’s what he wrote on Facebook:

I’m shamelessly trolling here for Twitter followers. The DMN has set a goal of 1K per person. I’m not there. I like FB a lot better than Twitter. But when the company sets a goal, to hear is to obey. I’m a sporadic Tweeter. I don’t post much just to kibbitz. Curated, if you will. So I won’t fill up your Tweet stream. If you have a mind, I’m at @jeffreyweissdmn

As of this morning at 9:52, Weiss had only 808 followers. Please, people, if you can find it in your hearts to follow him, it sure would help. Thank you. Also, Tod Robberson has only 724. He could use a little love. Oh, and James Ragland has 307.

UPDATE (11:28) Someone at the paper just passed me an interesting Twitter memo that was sent to DMN staff. It was sent Tuesday by Michael Landauer, whose title is digital communities manager:

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Tracy Rowlett, Byron Harris Rip Bill O’Reilly’s Claim in 1970s Suicide Story

A disputed tale about his reporting days in Dallas could turn into a big problem for Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, who has the most-watched program on cable news. The story, as the host of “The O’Reilly Factor” has told it in his books including Killing Kennedy and Kennedy’s Last Days and on the Fox News Channel, occurred during his stint as a reporter for WFAA Channel 8 in the 1970s. Reporting on a figure in the investigation into the John F. Kennedy assassination named George de Mohrenschildt—a Russian emigre who’d befriended Lee Harvey Oswald—O’Reilly claimed that he was standing outside the house in Palm Beach, Florida, where, and when, de Mohrenschildt apparently killed himself with a shotgun blast one day in March of 1977. Wrote O’Reilly: “As I knocked on the door, I heard a shotgun blast. He had killed himself.”

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This Is the Last Week For #HiddenDallas Entries

We’re running out of time to receive your entries in our #HiddenDallas contest. Just share your closely held secrets of how to live life to the max in this city — via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social media, using the hashtag #HiddenDallas. We’ll pick the best, and the winner will get a $200 gift certificate to Marie Gabrielle Restaurants & Gardens.

This contest turns into a pumpkin after Saturday, so hop to it. Check out some of the latest entries for inspiration:

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DMN Screws DISD With Ad Placement

As Liz mentioned in Leading Off, Sunday’s paper brought us a long front-page story about DISD hiring too many teachers and then misinforming the board about the matter. An alert FrontBurnervian sent along the image above, pointing out how funny it is that the jump of that story landed across from a full-page DISD ad seeking teacher applicants. If I were in charge of buying ads for the district, I would demand a make-good.

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Listen to D Magazine’s New Podcast, EarBurner

As Tim teased yesterday, D Magazine has embarked upon a brave new era of audio entertainment. We’ve launched our new podcast, EarBurner, for your listening pleasure.

The first episode, which you can stream right now via the embedded player below, was recorded yesterday at the Old Monk. We viewed this session much the way you do the first pancake from a batch of batter: you know, the one you usually just have to throw out because it doesn’t come out right.

But I think we exceeded our own extremely low expectations, and your hosts Tim and Zac, and special guest Tara Nieuwesteeg, managed to produce a light and tasty confection that you shouldn’t have to drown in syrup to make edible.

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Question for the Group: What Should We Call Our Podcast?

Looks like Zac and I will attempt a podcast. Without getting too heavy into the details, it’ll be kinda like FrontBurner (actual Dallas-related content mixed with time-wasting foolishness). About six years ago, a fellow named Adam McGill and I attempted something like this. We called it FrontBurner For Your Ears. A woman named Charity Beaver was once a guest. But I digress. We did the thing without buying any equipment, using instead a free service called Blog Talk Radio, which relies on telephones to record sound. The audio quality was not top notch (to say nothing of the content). This time we’ve invested some money. We’ve got microphones. And even a microphone stand.

So I throw it to you, dear content consumer. What should we call this thing? Keep the name FrontBurner For Your Ears? Something snappier? Anything in particular you’re interested in hearing?

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