News hounds
KRLD-AM radio sure knows how to kick off a promotional campaign. No sooner did the station put up bold new billboards advertising, "KRLD: The Source For Local News," than the station made big changes in its newsroom--reducing its news staff by five employees.

What's going on at KRLD?
Since the station won't talk about its "continuing analysis and restructuring"--except to say that with new technology, they "didn't need all these people"--Buzz can only speculate. First, we noticed that KRLD's new promotion never said anything about using actual humans to cover the news. In fact, the billboard shows only a microphone and an indistinct hand. Everyone also knows, of course, that KRLD pioneered the field of lobotomized talk show hosts years ago with Jodie Dean.

We can only imagine what KRLD's vaunted talent labs will produce next. Some automatonic "super scooper" reporter? Or maybe recruiting among genetically cultivated lower (and less-highly paid) life forms--Dalmatians are pulling really good numbers right now.

And god knows it wouldn't take a genius in the lab to produce your average broadcast journalist--a mellifluous voice combined with a cheap haircut ought to do it.

In bed with the boys
D Magazine got some first-string help in soliciting ads for its "Downtown Special Issue" last month--signing on what has to be the most potent crew of arm-twistin' ad salesmen the city's ever seen. "A Special Message to the Business Leadership of Dallas," mailed last May, urged businesses to "participate in and support this special publication as an advertiser." The shakedown letter was signed by Dallas powerbrokers Ray Hunt, Ross Perot Jr., Harlan Crow, and Bob Lane, plus former Cowboy and office leasing consultant Roger Staubach and venture capitalist Tom Hicks.

"This is important," the letter implored. "Your advertising support will help ring a bell that we believe will send a clarion call, to tell our city and the world that our downtown once again can be--and will be--vigorous and lively."

And if it ain't, or if there are any false notes in that clarion call--you sure won't hear about it in D.

Another idea bombs
The Nature Conservancy of Texas is taking an unusual approach to activism by giving an annual award to a Dallas company for "conservation leadership." The whole concept of providing PR for companies that appreciate "the belief that economic development and habitat preservation are not mutually exclusive" sounds suspect, and Buzz couldn't avoid noticing the luncheon's keynote speaker: former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney--now chairman, president, and CEO of Halliburton Co.

Nothing like a guy who had his finger on the button to trigger a nuclear winter to give you real insight into conservation and ecology.

--Glen Warchol

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Glen Warchol