By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Buzz still has some loose ends to tie up in the ongoing Dallas Morning News circulation scandal:
Something you didn't read in the DMN's story about advertiser reparations (they're gonna take a $26 million hit because of rebates and credits to advertisers over inflated circulation numbers) is that the Audit Bureau of Circulation, the cats that track newspaper circulation, made a surprise visit to the DMN on Monday. The bigwigs at the paper stammered a bit and said, uh, yeah, we're making changes. Uh, lessee: Guess what, we're going to make the ABC reporting clerk--the person who reports circulation numbers to the ABC--part of the accounting department instead of part of the circulation department. ABC said, huh, since just about every other major paper does it this way--that is, makes sure the person reporting the numbers isn't in the department that is charged with growing the numbers--we think that's a damn fine start.
When Belo CEO Robert Decherd told analysts that the company has decided to let someone from outside the paper report on this scandal--John Kostrzewa of Belo's The Providence Journal--to ensure fairness, he neglected to mention that J.K. is, in fact, the business editor at the ProJo. That's like saying Tom Hicks has brought in Buck Showalter to investigate how he invests his money.
Of the $26 million set aside by Belo, $3 million of that is for its "ongoing internal investigation." Buzz wants to reiterate that we are following this for you for considerably less than that. Stay tuned. If you don't, we'll throw this paper in your yard. Seems to work for others.
If you think his candidacy is just a lark, then check out some of his positions on the Web site. For instance, the Social Security system is going broke. His solution? Appoint a committee; don't raise payroll taxes; don't cut benefits.
The boy may make a politician yet.