Beguile, bedazzle, be gone
Buzz usually gets depressed when some other newspaper or magazine goes belly up. It's sort of like losing a member of the family. But the demise of Dallas/Fort Worth's Life Style magazine brings more of a sense of relief, like a merciful death for a long-suffering, drooling uncle.

Admittedly, the odds were stacked against Life Style from the beginning. The magazine set a Herculean task for itself--trying to carve out a niche among readers so vapid that they find D magazine too weighty. Apparently, there just weren't enough of them.

Life Style only made it for about two years, and its last issue pretty much summed up the minute contribution the magazine made to local journalism. It featured yet another fawning Barry Switzer profile--complete with pictures of his house, some smarmy pictures of the latest fashionable eyeglass frames, and a riveting explanation of why organic foods might be good for you.

In what would turn out to be her last "Publisher's Page" column, Roma Cannizzaro summed up the magazine's vision this way: "We have tried to remain fluid and resilient, dedicated to bringing our readers intriguing stories and arresting images to beguile the longtime reader and bedazzle the person picking up our publication for the first time.

"We have created fashion spreads to delight your senses, travel articles to entice your spirit of wanderlust, and when you were in a quandary about your relationships, we were there with sound advice."

Whew. Talk about a fish rotting from the head.
There was talk that Life Style would have staying power after it was taken over by Empower Media about three months ago. But Empower Chairman Randall Goss pulled the plug last week, saying the magazine didn't fit the company's "strategic plan." Empower also owns The Met and Texas Business, which Goss says are not similarly threatened.

On a relative scale
The subject of fawning drivel, of course, leads Buzz directly to The Dallas Morning News, and specifically to that paper's "High Profile" section. You know of what Buzz speaks--those unending vanity bios to which the paper devotes an entire section each Sunday.

Buzz admits to straying into dangerous territory here, but we were struck by one sentence in a recent High Profile piece. DMN staff writer Nora Lopez was profiling Dallas schools superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez. Pretty near the top of the story, Lopez summed up her subject this way: "Whether you're an admirer or a detractor, there's one word that eventually comes up when describing the petite, 44-year-old leader of the Dallas school district--controversial."

There's really no way Buzz can say this without getting into deep doo-doo--Gonzalez certainly is controversial. She certainly is short. But she certainly ain't petite. We wouldn't even be bringing this up if Lopez hadn't started it, so call her, not Buzz.

For the record, Buzz has put on a few extra pounds over the years, too.

--David Pasztor

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David Pasztor