Buh-bye Belo

Buh-bye Belo: The revolving door is spinning again at Channel 8. City Hall scoopdog Dave Evans left for WABC-TV in New York months back. Then three bigwigs--Robert Riggs, Alan Berg, and Vince Patton--bolted Belo earlier this month. And if you think they're the only big-time talents who will be leaving Channel 8 soon, think again.

The next to make public his departure is Doug Fox, who came to the station a quarter of a century ago and helped make it one of the most respected in the country. His exodus is still a year away, though, as he plans to retire when his contract expires at the end of 2001. "Unless something unforeseen comes up," Fox says, "I'll be heading to our place in Estes Park [Colorado]." Fox says his leaving is just part of "the natural evolution of a news department."

Others aren't too sure, saying talent is leaving because it's not appreciated anymore. "You can't blame them, considering the management in place now," says a Channel 8 source. "Entertainment is valued above everything. I mean, I doubt if anyone in management could tell you who the mayor was here before Ron Kirk."

Here, kitty: As the fur-covered feeder of four felines, Buzz is a bit reluctant to encourage violence against cats, except our own. But we can't just help whackin' those CueCats. And neither can a collection of self-described Hyundai-driving, under-employed Democrats and Greens who plan to march on Channel 8 and The Dallas Morning News at noon Sunday to protest what the group considers biased political coverage. Or, more precisely: "We are sick and tired of Big Brother, our Orwellian friend Belo," says group member Ana Casey, sometime freelance political operative, part-time gardener.

Casey says she and some Internet buddies, possibly joined by a group of computer hobbyists, will converge outside the Channel 8 and Morning News offices hauling at least 80 CueCats in pet carriers. (They're the worthless, Belo-backed bar-code scanners that computer users can attach to their computers to use as paperweights.) The group will threaten to murder the plastic cats unless Belo agrees to be more responsive to non-Republicans.

Casey says the group collected the devices from friends and various Radio Shacks, which gives them away. How did they get Radio Shack to give away so many? By providing the stores various names, including Amy, Laura, and Cindy "Belo."

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

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