In da house: Excuse Buzz while we kick off the year with a little in-house news, because we know Dallasites are endlessly fascinated with every little thing media folk do—even though most media folk we know personally are, not to put too fine a point on it, boring. At least, that's the case since the news biz got all grown up and started shipping its lovable, entertaining drunks, druggies and crazies off to insurance-covered, federally mandated treatment programs. Well, most of them anyway. Ahem. Anyway, here's some Dallas Observer poop for you Luddites who don't read blogs:
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First, we have a new editor. Mark Donald, former Observer staff writer and associate editor and, most recently, a reporter for Texas Lawyer, will start January 21, replacing editor Julie Lyons, who is leaving to write a book. We're happy about that—his arrival, we mean, not Lyons' departure—since Donald is a talented, experienced journalist who did fine work for us in the past. He's also a soft touch, so if you're phoning the Observer looking for a reporter after the 21st, you may want to call in the afternoon, since that's when most of us plan to be rolling into the office. (We're kidding, corporate overlords.) Donald is the brother of state Senator Florence Shapiro but does not share her Republicanish tendencies. In fact, rumor has it that he's a communist.
Second, we have hired a music editor, Pete Freedman, currently arts and entertainment editor for the Colorado Springs Independent. Buzz is particularly happy about this hire, since Freedman will take responsibility for editing our music section off Buzz's hands, which was never a good fit, as our interest in new music ended about the time John Bonham died in 1980. Plus, that stuff they play these days is just too damn loud...and don't even get us started on that "hippity-hop music." Damn kids. Rumor has it that Freedman, who starts work here in February, also is a commie.
Third, we've employed Sam "Jolly Good Fellow" Merten, formerly of the online news site Dallasblog.com, where he did ace reporting on the Trinity River project. Merten joins our fellowship program, in which we extract us much work from young reporters as physically possible while imbuing them with our staff's accumulated journalistic wisdom. (In Buzz's case, that means teaching him how to cut into buffet lines and scam extra drinks from open bars at press events.) We're extremely happy to have Merten on staff. Oh, and Merten? Commie.
Welcome new staff members! Keep your eye on this space, loyal readers, for other changes that might come up—for instance, the hiring of a new Buzz writer who knows better than to call people commies. —Patrick Williams