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A Little Bit of Blackie Sherrod’s Greatness

As Jason noted this morning in Leading Off, legendary writer Blackie Sherrod passed away yesterday afternoon. I remember reading his “Scattershooting” column in the Morning News when I was a kid, and while that was great, it was only a little bit of what Sherrod did. For a little more, here is “A Legend In His Own Mind,” which not too long ago appeared on our list of the 40 Greatest Stories in D Magazine history.

Leading Off (4/29/16)

Cowboys Select Ezekiel Elliott. With the fourth pick in this year’s NFL draft, Dallas took the Ohio State running back. Reviews of the decision are mixed, with some suggesting they should have gone with Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey instead. The Cowboys also tried — and failed — to trade up to get another first-round pick with which to select Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch as Tony Romo’s heir.

Dallas ISD Votes to Buy New Headquarters. The $46.5 million purchase was approved by board trustees in the earliest hour of Friday morning. The building, at 9400 N. Central Expressway, will consolidate the district’s headquarters and 15 other offices in one place. DISD anticipates the change will produce tens of millions of dollars in savings by 2021. Trustees were divided on the matter, which got the go-ahead on a 5-3 vote. Trustees Bernadette Nutall, Joyce Foreman, and Lew Blackburn opposed the purchase, expressing concerns about how it’s being funded and about the district headquarters moving six miles north of its current relatively central location. Some employees could be relocated to what’s being called the Dallas ISD Education by the end of the year, with the entire moving process taking about four years.

Blackie Sherrod, RIP. Sherrod, who died of natural causes at age 96 on Thursday afternoon, is being remembered as “the greatest Texas sportswriter of his generation.”

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GQ Says WFAA Just Killed #RunningManChallenge

Monica Hernandez and Wes Houx of WFAA-Channel 8 gave the latest viral dance craze, the #RunningManChallenge, a go yesterday on their morning news show.

GQ was less than complimentary of their efforts:

And yet, you never really know how strong a dance craze is until it’s attempted by a couple of daytime local news anchors. Yesterday, Monica and Wes of WPAA in Dallas became the unfortunate pair to do just that. First, after falsely attributing the dance to the U of M players, Monica then went on to explain how her fiancé challenged her and her co-anchor, and then, like pure dumpster-fire poetry in motion, they launched into it.

Cause of death: an astounding dearth of rhythm. But then, with a swift dagger of white dorkiness as if to ensure the running man challenge’s death, Wes comes in and dabs.

However, there might actually be something nice about the running man challenge dying before it ever really lived. After all, if this went on for a few more weeks, we’d probably have to watch Hillary Clinton do it on Ellen.

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D Magazine HQ to Host American Conservative Talk on U.S. Foreign Policy

Former FrontBurner contributor Wick Allison, chairman of D Magazine Partners, is also chairman of the American Ideas Institute, a D.C.-based nonprofit that publishes The American Conservative magazine in print and online.

In that capacity, he’s asked that I let D Magazine readers know about an event being hosted here at our downtown office this Wednesday. Four editors from TAC will have a discussion about what impact the 2016 presidential campaign will have on U.S. foreign policy.

If that sounds like your jam, click right here to RSVP, space permitting.

Why TV Networks Love the Dallas Cowboys

Here’s Ad Age on why your Dallas Cowboys — a team that finished a lousy 4-12 last season — are set to have 11 of their 16 games this fall broadcast nationally, including five in primetime:

“America’s Team” last season still managed to reach a massive TV audience. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Dallas over the course of its 11 national games averaged 24 million viewers and a 13.5 household rating, making it the No. 2 draw behind the Green Bay Packers. During their own 11-game stretch, Aaron Rodgers and Co. delivered 24.4 million viewers and a 13.8 household rating, offering further evidence that (in the NFL, at least) the size of one’s home market has no bearing on one’s national footprint. (With a reach of just 433,860 TV homes, 68th-ranked Green Bay-Appleton is the NFL’s smallest DMA.)

The meeting of the league’s two biggest ratings dynamos is obviously good for business, and securing a rare rematch of last year’s Cowboys-Packers game was a top priority for Fox.

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Slowly, Surely Dallas Writers and Editors Are Taking Over ESPN The Magazine

Let’s see. The first person I know of who swam through these waters and then wound up at ESPN The Magazine was Paul “Tall Paul” Kix (like the cereal, he always says). Paul was a senior editor (or something) at D Magazine. He left us for Boston Magazine but eventually found his way to Bristol, Connecticut, or wherever it is that ESPN people live. Then there was Cristina Daglas, who was the editor of D Magazine for a time. She left us and took a job at ESPN. And now Mike Drago is joining the Dallas contingent up north. Mike works at the Dallas Morning News and happens to be Nancy Nichols’ brother-in-law. Below you’ll find Tom Huang’s note to the staff about Mike’s departure.

I’ve started laying odds on the next Dallas media member to take a gig at ESPN. Eric Celeste, obviously, sits at the top of the board with the shortest odds. Right beneath him: Krys Boyd. Controversial, I know. But I have my reasons.

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The Perils of Discussing Nazis on Facebook

Local station CW 33, which I didn’t even realize still airs a newscast, had a piece last night about a retired teacher and Fort Worth ISD administrator, Joe Ross, who’s hoping to donate to a museum a captured Nazi war flag that a student gave him in 1965. He’s afraid if he dies suddenly that someone going through his belongings afterward might find the flag and get the wrong impression about him.

Anyway, as is now required of any media outlet that hopes to garner attention for one of its stories on the web, CW 33 shared it on Facebook, asking readers “What do you think Joe Ross should do with this flag?”

How long would you guess it took for a Holocaust denier to weigh in?

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Tony Romo: ‘Social Media is So Not Real Life’

When he was asked about his mending collarbone at a charity fundraiser in Dallas last night, Tony Romo said, “I think I’m gonna make it through the season, so we should be fine.” But what the Dallas Cowboys QB really wanted to talk about as featured speaker for the Just Say Yes nonprofit group—which empowers teens to succeed—was just saying no to peer pressure and social media.

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Is This GuideLive Story Specifically Designed to Make Me Feel Old?

GuideLive did its own piece aggregating content-curating the Central Track article about the inventor of the CueCat that Peter content-curated aggregated here on FrontBurner this morning.

I don’t know anything about the author of the GuideLive take. I don’t recall ever having noticed her byline before, but I have strong suspicions that this Brentney Hamilton had ulterior motives for writing this post: Making me feel like an obsolete husk of a human being.

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CueCat Inventor Serves Up Craziest Video You’ll See All Day

Remember the CueCat, the digital media punchline to end all digital media punchlines? The device was introduced by the Dallas Morning News way back in the dizzying late-1990s when a feverish hysteria over the magical World Wide Web was turning the shaggy inventors of “slow and cumbersome” online streaming services into billionaire sports team owners. The CueCat was nothing less than one of the worst inventions ever, and it was Dallas’ very own daily that owns the dubious honor of having invested millions in one of tech history’s most buffo footnotes, a device that really only functioned as a way to avoid typing a link into a browser window.

Well, we can rag on the DMN for the CueCat all day, but perhaps their error was not in their own idiotic vision but in being suckered into trusting someone who was selling them an idiotic vision.

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Dallas Hotel Magazine Plagiarizes Bravo in Real Housewives of Dallas Feature

The Real Housewives of Dallas premieres in about a week. If you’re anything like me, in a state of excited anticipation, you’ve been devouring anything and everything related to the show. Which is why I was curious to see the Spring 2016 issue of Dallas Hotel Magazine, whose cover story, written by Cynthia Smoot, is about the housewives. It was there, on page 33, that I read the following about housewife Tiffany Hendra: “Tiffany has a troubling past from her time in the limelight, but with her unwavering faith and growing foundation in Dallas, this Asian-American spitfire hopes to create her own voice and rediscover her roots.” That passage was lifted word for word from the Bravo site.

Listen, I don’t want to overreact. But Dallas Hotel Magazine was once considered one of the finest hotel magazines in the country. If Graydon Carter could see what has become of it today, he would weep. This is an outrage.

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Leading Off (4/1/2016)

Kingston Vs. Dallas Police & Fire Pension. Last week, the pension board had planned to censure Dallas City Councilman Philip Kingston (also himself a board member) for speaking to WFAA about the possibility of a sale of the troubled Museum Tower. But that was prevented from happening when it was revealed that Kingston had not been properly notified in advance. A special board meeting is scheduled for this morning expressly for the purpose of taking action against Kingston. However, on Thursday afternoon Kingston took steps to forestall those efforts by filing a petition in Dallas County court saying that he has not received documents that he has requested from the pension system that are related to the claims other board members have made that Kingston breached his fiduciary duty by making comments to the media.

Frisco Woman Found Dead. Police located the body of Christine Woo, who’d been missing since Monday, inside her SUV in the parking lot of a Target store in McKinney on Thursday evening. Woo’s three children were in the car, severely dehydrated and reportedly having been in the vehicle for a few days. The Collin County Medical Examiner will determine her cause of death, but police have said there were no obvious signs of foul play. The Target is about 2 miles from Woo’s home.

American Airlines to Offer 24-Hour Refunds. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport’s dominant carrier is bringing its ticketing policies in line with most other major competitors. Starting today it will offer passengers full refunds up to 24 hours after purchase. Previously American had permitted tickets to be placed on hold for 24 hours without requiring a purchase, which was the other of two options that a 2012 federal Department of Transportation rule gave airlines.

Denton Ranked 2nd-Best Place to Raise a Child If You Want Him to Amount to Nothing. Not sure what to make of this national publication’s assessment that my hometown is an “unsung haven for anyone whose kid has ‘underachiever’ written all over them.” Seriously, is this some sort of joke?