MEDIA Before he left The Dallas Morning News on August 12 to become lead columnist at the Arizona Republic in Phoenix. DAVID CASSTEVENS had been a stalwart in the strong lineup fielded by executive sports editor DAVE SMITH. His sometimes offbeat columns, full of human warmth, offered a nice balance to the history lessons of BLACKIE SHERROD and the “Lizzie Borden” approach of RANDY GALLOWAY. “I think David was frustrated with his role in the three-columnist set-up,” says Smith. “In Phoenix, as I understand it, he’ll have the freedom to deal with a broader range of topics.”

Casstevens, however, hints that his new freedom might not have been entirely his idea.

“When the job offer came, I asked Dave Smith if I could count on my role at the News as a secure one,” Casstevens says. “And Smith said, “I can’t answer that question.1 Then he said that perhaps the Phoenix job would be a smart thing for me to consider. It was a strange conversation,

“I look at the Phoenix thing as a good opportunity,” Casstevens says. “But I have a wife and three daughters who’ll be staying behind until we can sell the house. This is a pretty stressful time.”

Smith says that Casstevens’s replacement will write about “social issues” rather than “headline sports.” Given the News’ strong push to promote minority personnel, don’t be surprised if the paper, in the near future, brings a first to Dallas: an African-American sports columnist.


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