Static: Wednesday, November 12, 2003
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Soufflé Snooze Debuts

Quick as a Cue Cat, Dallas-based Belo Corp. responded to a challenge to its daily newspaper monopoly with a giveaway tabloid full of short, light news bites called, well, Quick. The new publication, a virtual soufflé of a newspaper, means Belo beat to the street by two days a former executive who planned to publish a similar tabloid. Jeremy Halbreich, who left Belo’s Dallas Morning Snooze as a high-ranking suit in the late 1990s, announced last month that he would begin publishing the A.M. Journal Express on Nov. 12. Static hears that Halbreich’s new company, American Consolidated Media, lined up a $20 million loan to boost the upstart. Halbreich has also made some smart hires, such as former Snooze scoop Lori Stahl as executive ed. Quick, meanwhile, showed up Nov. 10 with a tired image of a tearful Jessica Lynch on the cover and warmed-over slop inside. Quick borrows content so extensively from the mothership that Cloned might be a better name — Static always thought much of Dallas had been anyway.

Though Snooze publisher Jim Moroney told readers that Quick was here to stay, the newbie was having trouble finding anyplace to stay during its first week. Static found lots of boxes awaiting delivery Wednesday of the Journal Express but not for Belo’s tabloid. Guess Quick’s circulation trolls must be a bit slow. Static won’t be surprised if Quick winds up in journalism’s has-been ash bin, along with the Cue Cat, the failed gizmo that was supposed to connect your newspaper to the Internet, and the shuttered Arlington Morning Snooze.

Resistance was Futile

Static bids farewell to the Sundance Square Coffee Haus, which was closed by the state for failing to pay taxes. Sundance wound up with the keys to the Haus and turned them over to — argh! — the Borg of the coffee world, Starbucks. We’re sure they’ll ’up the place nice, pay their taxes on time, be far more attentive than the sometimes aloof and preoccupied Haus rats, etc. But aren’t there enough Starbucks in the universe? Must every semi-unique business be assimilated by Captain Janeway’s greedy monsters? If the tools in the Bass box that control Sundance have their way, will Mickey Mouse replace the topiary steer at 4th and Main? Will the longhorn mural be painted over with a Nike ad?

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