You've got to hand it to KERA president Richie Meyer for coolness under fire. Late last month, The Dallas Morning News, no less, reported on an anonymous letter circulating about Meyer and his wife, KERA vice president Susan Harmon. The letter--heavily excerpted in the News coverage by Manuel Mendoza, whose stories reveal no evidence that he had attempted to independently assess the allegations about Meyer--attacked the couple for their extensive member-supported globetrotting. The letter, of all things, has prompted an investigation by the KERA board.
Meyer's Wanderlust, of course, was exposed and documented in an Observer cover story months ago. But any time the News prints something negative about a sacred cow like KERA, it's the equivalent of the cold war Pravda discussing a party boss--you read for what's between the lines. That the News would print two stories in November based on an unsigned letter dated in September has to make Buzz wonder if Richie's on shaky ground.
With the Observer story and that letter making the rounds, a lot of guys would have hunkered down, followed the "Look busy" adage, and hoped the mess would blow over.
When the News story broke, Meyer was unavailable for comment. Where was he? Believe it or not, on a junket. When Richie finally got back to the News a day later, it was from Grand Cayman. Presumably with a straight face, the scuba-loving Meyer said the letter attacking his travel was "ridiculous," and that fair-minded people would understand that his wayfaring was a business necessity.
A few days after the News reported the travel criticism, a story authored by Richie appeared in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the international Silent Film Festival, datelined--we're still not kidding--Pordenone, Italy.
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We weren't surprised to read that Jag-driving Richie, who draws in a $200,000 compensation package from KERA, was particularly taken with Charlie Chaplin's silent classic, The Gold Rush.
Retail magnate to babe magnet
Buzz finds eavesdropping irresistible (but don't try to pin that Peavy-Mayes mess on us), and couldn't help overhearing a recent conversation between two Neiman Marcus sales clerks--uh--associates lunching on the cream of smoked tomato soup at NM's Commerce Street Cafe. Comparing notes on the previous night's InCircle party at the downtown Neiman's, in which preferred customers are treated to private shopping and hors d'oeuvres, the two women gushed about their brief conversations with store founder and retailing renaissance man Stanley Marcus. "I was very impressed with him. He's so sharp. Not at all feeble," said one chunky-gold earringed woman. To which her chunky-gold earringed co-worker replied: "Yes, I know. I ran up to my desk and got my copy of his book to sign. He was even a little bit flirtatious--a very cute little guy."
Yowl! Buzz wonders if there's a sizzling memoir left in ol' Stanley.