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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What Does Google Think of Dallas’ Best Suburbs?

By now you’ve surely been up and down and up again our ranking of the Best Dallas Suburbs. Our sortable chart allows you to reorder the 64 North Texas towns (Dallas is included for comparison’s sake) on the list by factors such as population, crime, education, or just the overall ambiance of the place.

So you know what our numbers say. But what does the all-knowing, all-seeing Google machine think of our cities? How does Google Maps present us to the world? To find out, I asked for directions from Dallas, Texas (unspecified address) to each of the suburbs (unspecified address). Wherever Google dropped its pin representing each, I took a look around via the magic of Street View.

That gives us the spot to which Google will direct travelers who don’t know exactly where they want to go in these towns, just that they want to get there. To my mind, that makes these locations the virtual entryway to each, the online face of these cities. I leave it to you to interpret whether there’s any deeper significance to where Google’s directions would take you and what it says about our suburbs.  (By the way, in Dallas, the location is Main Street downtown, right next to Plush nightclub)

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Why It Matters That the Morning News Failed at Paid Content

When I read this morning that the Dallas Morning News is giving up on its “premium content” experience  (which it launched last fall), my first reaction was to think “they’re still offering a premium content experience?” I have a subscriber’s log-in that I could use to access the site, but many months ago I stopped bothering to do so because the time it took to type in the email address and password wasn’t worth the payoff.

I wouldn’t do as the Morning News’ own story today has done and categorize this experience as a failed attempt at premium content. I’d instead think of it as an “incomplete,” given that there wasn’t anything terribly “premium” about the Morning News experience.

We have to get readers to pay for the content they want. We’re going to have to. I doubt greatly that the Morning News, in ending this experiment, has completely abandoned that fact. They’re just going to look for another means of doing it. In which case, I have a proposal.

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Brian Sweany Named Editor in Chief of Texas Monthly

Once upon a time, Brian Sweany worked at D Magazine. Peace and harmony reigned. All in the land rejoiced. Then, in 2005, all hell broke loose and he left us to go work at Texas Monthly. There was gnashing of teeth, rending of clothes, and much wailing. Now, through shrewd political maneuvering and some old-fashioned blackmailing (just guessing), he has risen to assume the top editorial spot at the revered magazine. You can read the entire release, below.

Here is one thing I learned about Brian from the release: he was born on Texas Independence Day. [cue cry of bald eagle, followed by a steer's moo] Also in the release, an Emmis honcho refers to Brian’s “gentlemanly grace and good humor.” Kidding aside, that is exactly what I think of when I hear Brian’s name. He’s talented, smart. Sure. But he really is a gentleman.

Emmis made the right call on this one. The magazine is in good hands.

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Prince Fielder Gets Nekkid on Cover of ESPN The Magazine

“The Body Issue” of ESPN The Magazine hits newsstands Friday with six different covers. Rangers first baseman Prince Fielder strikes a pose for one of them. Awesome. That’s what I thought when I saw it. His body is a marvel. It seems odd that he’s using it to play baseball rather than middle linebacker. Also check out this behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot. (h/t Evan Grant)

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Erykah Badu Crashes NYC Newscast

Hat tip to Central Track for bringing me (and by extension you) this video of Erykah Badu jacking around with a guy doing a standup in New York City. Check out both the Vine and the YouTube versions. Girl was determined to get some play.

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