For the past six weeks or so, Jim Schutze has only been an old man in Old East Dallas. Since being laid off—his preferred verbiage is “fired”—from the Dallas Observer after more than two decades of service, Schutze has been watching public meetings without an outlet beyond his Facebook page. Now he has that outlet.
In our July issue, which subscribers receive this week, the longtime columnist returns to the pages of D Magazine. He’ll be contributing a monthly column to the magazine and you’ll see his byline once a week or so on FrontBurner. His work will lean heavily into education coverage, but he’ll also be keeping an eye on the city’s operations, as he has always done.
To mark the occasion, Tim and Zac met Schutze on his funky, plant-covered porch and talked about his career. Which is also a quick history of Dallas journalism, from the Times Herald to the early days of the Observer, when the alt weekly was flush with ads and more than a dozen staff writers. There’s insight on Backpage.com, the sex ads fronting as classifieds that grew into a federal case but began “as this little thing in the back” of the Observer’s offices on Oak Lawn. “I watched it metastasize,” Schutze says.
Schutze also shares the story of how County Commissioner John Wiley Price came to own the rights to Schutze’s 1987 book The Accommodation—the text of which is now flowing through a weird Twitter account. There’s a tale of how he got his money from director Larry Clark, who turned Schutze’s Bully into a movie in South Florida. And, of course, you’ll learn more about his role at D and his piece in the July issue before it lands in your mailbox and online. Listen after the jump.