Tuesday, September 27, 2022 Sep 27, 2022
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Pulse of the City

Mark Cuban starts his own TV network, local model Valery Prince, Glenn Mitchell gears up for his Christmas show, alternative arts for the holidays, must-have winter accessories, and more.
By D Magazine |
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Who would have guessed that People would be our competition as Dallas’ city magazine? But after a look through the October issues, you’d think the weekly’s offices moved south for the winter.

• Restaurateur Al Biernat. “Soft Lights, Soft Music, and Julio,” Oct. 29. A gossip item about Julio Iglesias’ visit to Al’s Prime Steaks and Seafood. 121 words, one photo (of Iglesias in Spain). Plus, in People Extra, “Dallas Delights,” Fall 2001. Angie Harmon-Sehorn enjoys dessert at Al’s. 128 words, one photo.

• Ambassador and philanthropist Nancy Brinker. “Promise Kept,” Oct. 29. A profile of Brinker, the new U.S. ambassador to Hungary and founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. 2,035 words, eight photos.

• Restaurateur Phil Romano. “Wheels, Meals, and Hope,” Oct. 22. A feature about Romano’s Hunger Busters program that feeds hundreds of homeless people every week. 810 words, three photos.

• Florence Art Gallery. “In Her Mind’s Eye,” Oct. 15. An inspirational story about Lisa Fittipaldi, a blind painter whose husband Al got her her first show at Florence Art Gallery. 733 words, five photos.

• Flower Mound residents Jay and Judy Frappier. “Rock Climbers,” Oct. 15. A “Where Are They Now?” article about the couple who won Jon Bon Jovi’s childhood home in an MTV contest 10 years ago. 657 words, four photos.

Cuban’s Next Move
Mavs owner gets even more exposure with his own high-definition network.

He’s a brash businessman with a personality as big as the deals he makes. He’s a sports fan first and team owner second. He’s leveraged each success he’s had to position himself for another, and, in the process, he’s become a visionary (and slightly nutty) media mogul.

He’s Ted Turner. And he’s inadvertently given Mark Cuban a blueprint to spend and make billions of dollars.

Just as Turner—who owns Atlanta’s baseball, basketball, and hockey teams—basically invented cable television, Cuban plans to take TV to the next level. In September, the Mavs owner announced the launch of HDNet, a satellite dish network that broadcasts exclusively high-definition content.

Cuban figures sports fans are the most susceptible converts to the wide screen and clear picture of “highdef,” and HDNet primarily airs select NHL and MLB games. The network also has licensing agreements with the National Lacrosse League and the United States Olympic Committee to broadcast qualification events.

By no coincidence, HDNet airs select Mav games, too, much like Turner’s TBS Superstation is the home of his Atlanta Braves. When asked if HDNet will ever be the exclusive station of the Dallas Mavericks, Cuban said via e-mail, “Too early to tell.”

Co-founded with Colorado Studios president Philip Garvin, HDNet could be yet another prescient business decision by Cuban, who anticipated the demand for personal computers in the ’80s with his company MicroSolutions and founded the business of Internet radio with Broadcast.com.

On the other hand, not everything Turner has touched has turned to gold. For every CNN he started, there’s a Checkout Channel, his failed news and information network broadcast in supermarkets.













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Royal Treatment

While other teenage girls fret over what to wear on their next date, Valery Prince is told what to wear on her next photo shoot. But before the 18-year-old model was discovered, she had plans for a different kind of runway. “I never considered modeling,” says the Dallas native. “I wanted to be a track star.” In 1999 she was shopping at the Galleria when Kim Dawson and Fashion!Dallas were having their annual model search. A Morning News writer grabbed her, put her in line, and told her to enter. She did. She won. She was 15.

Luck may have gotten her into the industry, but she’s not leaving the rest of her career to chance. Last spring she moved to New York, where she signed with T Management (as in Trump), and the Nimitz High School graduate made her runway debut there when Bill Blass booked her for his Fall 2001 show. “I was so nervous,” Prince says. “[Blass] told me everything was going to be all right. I was like, ‘No, it’s not.’ I looked like a deer in headlights walking down that runway.”

The former choirgirl has a realistic outlook and is already making plans for life after modeling. With money she’s saved, she will enroll this fall at Harding University. Until then, she’ll continue to travel between New York and Dallas, modeling four days a week and balancing her schedule with her other job at Braum’s Ice Cream in Oak Cliff where she has worked since the 10th grade. “I don’t get special treatment,” she says. “They don’t look at me like I am a model. They look at me and think, ‘That’s just Valery. She’s our ice cream scooper.’”

Radio Noel
KERA’s Glenn Mitchell broadcasts his 28th annual “Christmas Blockbuster” special.

For some, Glenn Mitchell’s “Christmas Blockbuster” has become as much of a tradition as caroling, egg nog, and goats.

The radio show, which airs on KERA 90.1 FM every Sunday before Christmas, is a 12-hour tribute to the history, legends, and spirit of Dec. 25th. It includes lectures, quizzes, interviews, and, of course, songs, such as Mitchell’s personal favorite, “All I Want for Christmas is a Goat.”

Mitchell, whose two-hour talk show airs every weekday, has hosted the Christmas show every year since 1974, when KERA first went on the air. Even when he left the station from 1980-95, he always came back for the Christmas special.

The program takes a year’s worth of scouring garage sales and bookstores for new material.

“You can’t feel burdened by something you do once a year,” Mitchell says. “I look forward to it.”

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Do The Write Thing

Books make great gifts(see p. 76), but a good cause is the true spirit of the season. If you need a stocking stuffer for a little one on your list, head to Half Price Books for the seventh edition of Say Good Night to Illiteracy, a collection of 20 “bedtime stories” by amateur
writers from across the country. Proceeds benefit literacy programs such as Dallas Reads and the Greater Fort Worth Literacy Council.
Every year Half Price Books holds a contest for aspiring writers of all ages to submit works appropriate for children. Each winning story is paired with an original, four-color illustration. Of this year’s winners, three writers are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including 15-year-old Grand Prize winner Cicily Smith. Eleven illustrators are from Dallas, including cover artist Chet Phillips.
Half Price Books has supported hundreds of literacy projects for 29 years. Sales from last year’s Say Good Night to Illiteracy raised about $20,000. Half Price Books is accepting entries for the 2002 edition through Dec. 31, 2001. The winners will be announced next March.

Alternative Christmas
Celebrate the holiday season with art events that march to the beat of a different drummer boy.

Like many arts patrons, you’re probably sick of Scrooge and have had enough Handel to last an eternity. Fortunately Dallas’ vibrant arts scene is full of alternative holiday choices to suit any taste. From dark comedies and provocative exhibits to more family-friendly fare, each presents a unique, cliché-free interpretation of this joyous season.


The Blue Yule. The MAC celebrates the season with its annual exhibition of funky, handmade holiday ornaments designed by local and national designers, artists, architects, and other creative folk. Dec 7, 5-7 p.m. McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. 214-953-1MAC.

Dark Elves. Photographer Stewart Cohen takes a dark and edgy look at Santa’s little helpers by shooting portraits of people dressed as elves based on folklore. The work is fun, irreverent, and most definitely non-traditional. Dec 6-28. Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Dr. 214-670-8749.


Christmas at Ground Zero. The quirky Ground Zero troupe presents an evening of humor, warm fuzzies, and just enough weirdness to keep things interesting with this holiday grab bag of 10 short plays. Six of the playwrights are from Dallas, including award-winning author Vicki Caroline Cheatwood. Dec 6-22. Thu-Sat. Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Dr. 214-670-8749 or www.groundzerotheater.org.

A Christmas Story. If you just can’t get enough of Ralphie’s quest to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, quit renting the movie and see Theatre Arlington’s version of humorist Jean Shepherd’s Midwest memoirs. This one’s safe for the whole family. Just be careful not to shoot your eye out. Nov 29-Dec 22. Thu-Sat. Theatre Arlington, 305 W. Main St., Arlington. 817-275-7661.

Reckless. In this bittersweet black comedy, Kitchen Dog Theater company member Tina Parker stars as a suburban housewife whose life abruptly explodes one Christmas Eve when she discovers her husband has hired a hit man to kill her. Nov 17-Dec 22. Thu-Sun. McKinney Avenue Contemporary, 3120 McKinney Ave. 214-953-1MAC.

Rockin’ Christmas Party. Tired of singing “Here We Come A-Wassailing” for the 1,834th time? Do you even know what wassail is? Trade in the tired seasonal standbys for a little rock ’n’ roll at WaterTower Theatre’s ode to the holidays, filled with Top 40 hits from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Nov 29-Dec 23. Thu-Sun. Addison Theatre Centre, 15650 Addison Rd., Addison. 972-450-6232.