Michalene Busico Leaves Restaurant Critic Role at The Dallas Morning News

Michalene Busico, the restaurant critic at The Dallas Morning News, is leaving to become editor-in-chief of PaperCity Magazine.
Michalene Busico, the restaurant critic at The Dallas Morning News, is leaving to become editor-in-chief of PaperCity Magazine. courtesy September Dawn Bottoms/The Dallas Morning News
Michalene Busico, restaurant critic for The Dallas Morning News, is leaving the paper. Her next gig moves on from food coverage, as she'll step into the editor-in-chief role for PaperCity Magazine next month.

Busico had big shoes to fill after critic Leslie Brenner left; Busico joined the staff in July 2018, coming from Malibu, California. Brenner preferred not to let readers and restaurateurs know what she looked like, at least at first, but Busico stepped in with everyone knowing who she was. It's the age of social media, after all.

The DMN still has its star system, but she did rework it, taking it from five stars to four.

"Coming back to newspapers after a few years in magazines was an amazing gift," she told us Wednesday. "There’s no place like them — the deep, diverse pool of talent, the pace, the ambition. I’m incredibly proud to have been part of The Dallas Morning News newsroom and to have had the opportunity to become a critic in a city where there is also so much talent and ambition in its restaurant scene. It's just a great time to be a writer here."

And she'll continue similar work with her new job at PaperCity Magazine.

"It's an expansive moment at PaperCity — in addition to me, they've just hired a new digital editor, right on the heels of hiring a new publisher and starting a new edition in Fort Worth," she says. "Being part of a team in a moment like this is a really rare opportunity, and of course, there's already a beautiful canvas with the print edition and plans for a more vigorous presence online.

"All of that, plus the opportunity to cover the city in full scope, not just food, was irresistible."

Busico's last day at the DMN is Dec. 24.
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Taylor Adams has written about the restaurant industry for the Dallas Observer since 2016. She attended Southern Methodist University before covering local news at The Dallas Morning News.