By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
The abrupt announcement that veteran evening talk-show voice Karen Denard will depart in January has left KERA-90.1 FM mulling over a replacement.
Some at KERA view Denard's departure as a splendid opportunity to try to lure Bob Ray Sanders back to public broadcasting. Sanders, KERA's brightest local light for years, subbed for Denard occasionally over the past year. Before that, during a stint as a gabfester at KLIF-570 AM, he showed it's possible to bring intelligent conversation--and a sense of urgency about public issues--to commercial radio.
Unfortunately for KERA, Sanders tells Buzz it's not going to happen.
"Even if I had the interest, I don't have the time," he explains. Sanders already has three jobs: he works as a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; teaches a class at Texas Woman's University in Denton once a week; and hosts KERA-TV's weekly "Between the Lines" program.
Sanders says he had spoken to station managers about returning to the KERA airwaves at one point under a plan that would have moved Denard to a new morning talk show and put Sanders in her evening slot. "Frankly, I was interested at the time," he says.
But that plan was scuttled, Sanders says, because the ratings for the morning music programming were solid. Now, his dance card is full.
Throw the bums in
It's enough to make a muckraker weep.
Dallas-based Texas Lawyer printed a pre-election scoop last month, uncovering the lies that Republican court of criminal appeals judicial candidate Stephen W. Mansfield spread during his campaign. Texas Lawyer had Mansfield admitting that he had tried to portray himself as a political novice, despite his experience as a congressional candidate in New Hampshire in 1978 and 1980. (So what if he lost?) Mansfield also recanted an earlier claim that he had criminal court experience in Texas.
As the paper later reported, he does, however, have a criminal record, having paid a $100 fine in Florida in 1986 for practicing law without a license.
Once Texas Lawyer broke the story, other newspapers followed up with their own pieces detailing Mansfield's misrepresentations and with editorials supporting his opponent in the judicial race.
But on election day, voters statewide swept Mansfield onto the bench--he got 54 percent of the vote--as if the muckraking had never taken place.
Texas Attorney General Dan Morales now says he will investigate Mansfield's eligibility to serve on the bench.
But the august new judge offered his own inimitable perspective on the unlikely sequence of events.
When Texas Lawyer senior reporter Robert Elder asked Mansfield to explain his surprising victory in the face of the published revelations, Mansfield eschewed the predictable GOP-coattails explanation with the following, previously unpublished insight: "Shit happens, unless you are constipated."
Same old grind?
Half Price Books, the self-proclaimed nation's largest purveyor of used books, has followed the likes of Borders Books in bookdom's hottest trend.
Half Price's expanded Richardson store now has an espresso bar.
It's all very bohemian, but, considering Half Price's claim to fame, we have to wonder: where exactly do recyclers of remainders, worst-sellers, and previously owned prose acquire their coffee?