City News Roundup
With the Thanksgiving holiday this week, news of all kind is at a lull, but especially the city variety. When the Turkey Trot is the biggest event of the week, then you know there isn't much going on downtown.
Exercise is good, as are holidays, annual traditions and events that bring people together. But marathons and runs of any kind are a massive nuisance if you live anywhere along the route. Downtown Dallas was not the place to be on Thursday morning for the annual Turkey Trot if you wanted to get anywhere. This year drew 50,000 participants, and if you want to see the evidence, go cruise the route where you can spy the aftermath, including thousands of plastic water bottles and piles of discarded plastic cups from Raising Cane's — not only a littery mess but also just lousy, environmentally.
Omni Dallas subsidies
Mystery blogger Wylie H. Dallas did an analysis of the financials behind the Omni Dallas hotel downtown, and it is not a pretty picture. According to his breakdown, the hotel received $22.5 million in taxpayer subsidies in 2013, and the City of Dallas subsidizes the property by about $53 million per year. The most distressing part is that it hasn't made the adjacent Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center any more appealing to outsiders looking to book events.
Selling it would be a good idea, but who will buy a hotel that's buried in debt? And yet the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau is talking about spending up to $300 million more on the convention center, on top of the city's plan to add four more restaurants – Coal Vines, Little Katana Sushi, Herrera's and a beer garden — in fall 2015.
More Russ Martin
KFXR 1190 AM gets another format change: It's now TalkRadio 1190, featuring "repurposed" programming that includes reruns on weekday mornings of The Russ Martin Show, which currently airs in the afternoons on KEGL "The Eagle" 97.1 FM. Both stations are owned by iHeartMedia, which used to be Clear Channel.
In the past, 1190 AM has been CNN News, Fox Sports Radio, an oldies station and classic country. It's the only AM station in Dallas-Fort Worth owned by iHeartMedia, whose FM portfolio includes KZPS "Lone Star" 92.5 FM, KDGE "The Edge" 102.1 FM, KDMX "Now" 102.9 FM and KHKS "Kiss" 106.1 FM.
Russ Martin airs on The Eagle from 3 to 7 pm; on 1190, he'll air from 7 to 11 am.
All of that is well and good, but the real news is Clear Channel's becoming "iHeartMedia," which happened back in September and reflects the company's transition to a "multi-platform media company." The weird part is that they kept the Clear Channel name for their outdoor advertising division. "Channel" goes with radio, not billboards.
Randall and Sherry Reed, who own World Class Automotive Group, made a donation of $30,000 to the Dallas County Community College District. Scholarships of $5,000 will be granted to six students who are enrolled in automotive programs at Brookhaven and Eastfield. The Reeds will also give discounts to students, employees and faculty members at two of their dealerships: Prestige Ford in Garland and Park Cities Ford Lincoln in Dallas. Aside from their generosity, are they not the cutest couple ever?
RIP Ken Hughes
Ken Hughes, a real estate developer whose best-known projects include Mockingbird Station and the Quadrangle, passed away on November 29. Hughes was described in the book The Urban Connection as a "sophisticated" developer whose work was "striking and imaginative."