Cover up

They're the hottest act in country music, selling seven million albums and winning armfuls of golden awards. Now it seems that the Dixie Chicks have gotten too big for Texas Monthly. The magazine wanted the Chicks for the cover of the September "Texas Twenty" issue, which hits the stands next week and celebrates the year's most notable Texans, but handlers said the trio was too busy to do a photo shoot, plus they wanted photo approval -- something the Monthly was reluctant to give.

But when deputy editor Evan Smith received a fetching slide of the Chicks posing cross-eyed with flies on their noses in promotion of their next LP, Fly, as well as a promise of exclusive rights to use the photo, he decided to give in to the group's demands. Just a week before going to press, however, Smith saw the same photo on the cover of Billboard. Monthly replaced it with multiple-image artwork of the Chicks, wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Plano-born Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong.

The trio's publicist says the photo was mistakenly sent to Billboard. "I'm just thankful that they showed their true colors early enough that we could do something about it," Smith says.

Not-so-humble beginning

Buzz has a word of caution for new Dallas school Superintendent Bill Rojas: You're not in San Francisco or New York anymore, Bill. We Texans expect a touch of humility in our public servants.

What prompted this unsolicited advice was Rojas' comment in The Dallas Morning News last week in a story about the hefty salaries being paid his six new top administrators. "If you don't want this level of talent and you were happy with where you were, you shouldn't have hired me," Rojas told the News.

This is the Dallas Independent School District board we're talking about here, Bill. You may have been the school board's unanimous choice for superintendent, but the board is not a bunch that stays unanimous on anything for long. "We shouldn't have hired him" is likely a thought that has already crossed the minds of at least some of the nine board members.

The DISD board is not what you would call adept at math. Still, one day someone may figure out that the $780,000 in combined annual salaries you're paying the six new administrators is enough to buy 48 cheesy bedroom sets at the place where former Superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez shopped -- using stolen school money.

Next for Mavs: slide shows!

Beginning this season, the Dallas Mavericks will broadcast 30 games on KHSN-TV, otherwise known as Channel 49 -- or, around our house, static.

The Mavs insist this new broadcasting arrangement is a good deal, especially since Channel 49 is owned by USA Broadcasting, the media empire run by former Paramount Pictures and ABC-TV exec Barry Diller. But what we find odd about the deal is that the Mavs are leaving KXTX-TV (Channel 39) -- the over-the-air home to the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers, both of which are owned by Tom Hicks, who also owns Channel 39. There goes Hicks' idea for a sports superstation. Then again, there's nothing super about any station that airs the Dallas Mavericks.

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams