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October 13th, 2005:

Double duty

Local radio DJ Sam Malone is about to be a very busy guy. He already does his thing on 740 AM from 10 till noon on weekdays. And now, as seen on the KHMX home page, he’ll be their new morning show personality from 6 to 9 starting tomorrow. That’s gonna be a lot of yakking to do every day.

I don’t know what brought this on, but I figured it out because I’ve been getting deluged by Google searches by fans of the now-displaced Roula and Ryan morning show on Mix 96.5, several of whom have left agonized comments on this post. I swear, people, I know nothing more about the whys and wherefores of this than you do. I don’t think I’ve ever tuned into Malone, but obviously the folks at Clear Channel think he’s pretty hot stuff to work him this hard. We’ll see how he does, since he’ll likely be speaking to two very different audiences on the two stations.

UPDATE: Turns out that Roula and Ryan have a webpage, which currently has this on it:

Unfortunately, Clear Channel decided to terminate the Roula and Ryan show today. We knew this was coming, ever since Sam Malone left KRBE back in March but hoped, for the sake of our listeners, this would not turn out to be the case. We appreciate all the support our listeners have given us. Stay tuned to this web site for more information.

There’s a voice message (MP3) as well if you want more.

TAMU-SA

Plans to build a branch of Texas A&M University in south San Antonio have hit a snag over concerns about how committed A&M is to building it.

Mayor Phil Hardberger said Tuesday he wants a solid commitment from Texas A&M to bring a campus to the South Side before he’ll get behind the city’s proposed $15 million buyout of homes and businesses for a land donation.

The city, he said, still doesn’t have a binding agreement with the university, as called for in a City Council resolution in January offering to hand over the property by December 2006.

“I want to firm this up before we actually start buying things,” Hardberger said.

He’s proposing a public meeting where university officials would lay out their plans directly to the council for a four-year campus on the city’s proposed site — which Hardberger says hasn’t happened yet.

“We should invite A&M to come here and put everything on the table,” the mayor said. “Then we can make a motion to go ahead and proceed.”

State Sen. Frank Madla, who’s led the drive to bring A&M to the South Side, said he didn’t know what to make of Hardberger’s questions about the university’s commitment.

“The A&M board of regents has made it very clear that they accept the city’s proposal,” the San Antonio Democrat said. “I don’t know what else the mayor wants. I don’t know what he’s looking for.”

The Jeffersonian wants this to move forward already. DC9 thinks slowing things down and making sure of what’s what is prudent.

I don’t have an opinion on the timing, but I do hope this campus gets built. I’ve long been of the opinion that San Antonio is underserved in terms of undergraduate capacity. UTSA only dates back to 1969, and back in the 80s when I was at Trinity it was a smaller, mostly commuter school on what was then the far edge of town. Having a second public university, especially one a little closer to downtown, is something that would greatly benefit the Alamo City.

GOP targets for the State House: HD03 and HD41

We’re finally starting to see some GOP challenger action in the State House. The Quorum Report gives a two-sided look at HD03, which was one of the closest races from last year:

Former Franklin County GOP chairman Kirby Hollingsworth is planning another bid for House District 3, which will be his second attempt to unseat state Rep. Mark Homer (D-Paris).

Hollingsworth, 39, was defeated in the last election cycle by 218 votes in a race that attracted 48,444 voters from six counties. He said in 2004, he was considered an underdog and many folks in Austin – including the moneyed political action committees and GOP leaders – didn’t expect his campaign to come so close to edging out Homer. This time, he said, he’s got the 2004 legacy of grassroots support and he doesn’t feel like an underdog. He anticipates more Austin support in 2006.

“If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, ‘We just really didn’t know you had that great of a chance. But if you’ll run again, we’ll do everything we can to help’,” Hollingsworth said he’s been told.

Equal time is then given:

State Rep. Mark Homer (D-Paris) in 2004 faced a ballot topped by Republican President George W. Bush and newly-minted GOP member Congressman Ralph Hall. Despite some straight-ticket GOP voting, Homer retained his seat, but it was a tight 218-vote margin over opponent Kirby Hollingsworth.

That year, the statewide voting index in House District 3 favored Republicans 71.7 percent over Democrats at 28.3 percent. But, in the 2002 race for lieutenant governor – often considered a solid benchmark of a region’s preferences – Democrat John Sharp carried the district 51.6 percent over current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst at 48.4 percent.

The State House member pages finally have district election analyses from 2004 now – here’s how it looks in HD03. If the statewide GOP index looks a bit high to you, it’s because they appear to be including vote totals from all races, regardless of whether or not there was a candidate from each party on the ballot. This strikes me as less than useful, given that there were four statewide races in every district which featured no Democrat. If you do the math for the contested races in HD03 (which is what I’ve always done every time I’ve looked at a district), you get 145,444 R to 87,982 D, or 62.3% R to 37.7% D.

The key question is whether the 2004 result, with President Bush at the top of the ticket and practically zero statewide campaigning done by any Democrat, represents a highwater mark or the new reality. If it’s the former, Homer is probably safe; if not, he’s very vulnerable. I subscribe to the highwater theory, but that’s more a guess than anything else. 2006 will definitely put that notion to the test.

Oh, and by the way, Homer ran unopposed in 2002. Think that might have cost Kirby Hollingsworth a few votes in 2004, since he was probably not as well-known in the district as he otherwise might have been? There are many reasons why some of us keep harping on that Run Everywhere concept.

Elsewhere, Rio Grande Valley Politics writes about HD41, where first-term Democrat Veronica Gonzales has several potential opponents lining up against her.

Although the 41st is currently held by a democrat, the House seat was redrawn to pack in voters from the affluent north McAllen and Sharyland areas. In the 2004 presidential race between Bush and Kerry, Bush won the 41st with 56.6% of the vote. The overall statewide ballots cast were 52% republican and 47% democrat. In 2002, the overall statewide ballots cast in the 41st were reversed; democrats took 52% of the vote while republicans took 47%.

Once again – highwater mark or new norm? Here’s the election analysis for HD41. As before, disregard their statewide indices; counting only contested races, it’s 79,498 R to 75,067 D in votes, or 51.4% R to 48.6% D (I’m not sure what method RGVP is using). Notice also that Gonzales, like her predecessor Roberto Gutierrez in 2002, ran unopposed last year.

QR mentions a couple of other races as well, and I’m sure we’ll keep hearing about more of them as Filing Season approaches, so stay tuned. If I haven’t made it clear already, this is going to be an interesting year.

New frontiers in video on demand

I know that the ads shown during the Super Bowl are popular and all, but I’m not so sure about this.

The NFL plans to pull together a half-hour show consisting of this year’s Super Bowl television ads for its video-on-demand platform, according to AdAge. A similar Super Bowl commercial show has been run on the NFL Network’s cable channel for the last two years. However, that show did not appear until mid-week after the game, while the VOD show will be available just hours later.

Rights issues are complicated, particularly for movie studios, because they have to “pay the talent, and for them the cost means it’s just not feasible” to give VOD rights to the NFL, said David Pattillo, director-media sales, NFL Network. But overall, around 80 percent of the advertisers involved in the Super Bowl have supplied their ads for the show.

The main question I have is whether they plan to make this freely available, or if they intend to charge people for the privilege of watching advertisements. If it’s the latter – and I suspect it is, since the NFL doesn’t do anything for free – I can only marvel at the prospect. I don’t know what demographic they think will be willing to shell out $19.95 or whatever they’ll have to cough up, but I’ll bet it’s one that advertisers will really love. Would it be overkill to suggest the NFL sell some ads for this production? It’s not like they’d be out of place, after all.

Thanks to Banjo for the link.

Harrell’s announcement

Mary Beth Harrell made the official announcement of her bid to unseat Rep. John Carter in CD31 on Tuesday. Eye on Williamson has the details.

UPDATE: Ah, good, there is press coverage of this. BOR has more.