Friday, February 13, 2009

More on Michael Precker, the newsman-turned-titty-bar-manager

We posted an item a few days about the Dallas newsman who took an early retirement buyout and ended up managing a "high end" strip club.

It got the attention of at least three of you rednecks, who took the trouble to post comments.

It got the attention, too, of some editor at The Wall St. Journal, who decided maybe the first piece it published about people gettin laid off or bought out (which included a mention of the Dallas newsman-turned-titty-bar-manager down way low in the story) might not be as interesting as a full-blown story on the Dallas newsman-turned-titty-bar-manager.

So they had the same reporter write a full-blown piece on the ex-newsman-turned ....

Good call.

Rupert Murdoch ain't runnin the WSJ for nothing.

Here's a taste of how the ex-newsman-turned-yadda-yadda got his new job at the Lodge in Big D:

"It seemed pretty clear that people of my vintage weren't going to get through retirement," says Mr. Precker, now 53 years old.

Around that time he found himself seated at a charity dinner near the owner of a Dallas strip club, Dawn Rizos. Hearing him mention the newspaper industry's travails, she offered him a job. "I like smart people. You could do communications," she told him.

He laughed it off. "I thought, 'I couldn't stoop to something like that,'" he recalls.

Soon afterwards, he was visiting Israel when the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon broke out, and to his surprise he found himself disinterested in covering it. "As much as I loved my job and was proud of what I'd done, I didn't have the urge anymore to run up to the border and explain it all to the American people and then come back and brag about how I'd been shot at," he says.

Mr. Precker's career change was mentioned earlier this week in a column written by Mr. Helliker.

For him, that experience made it all the harder to ignore the industry's deepening financial travails. In his mind, he says, "the lines on the graph crossed. It got to be more ridiculous to hang on at a newspaper and less ridiculous to take this leap."

Upon returning to Dallas, he called Ms. Rizo, who made the offer contingent on the approval of Mr. Precker's wife of more than two decades. "I talked to her myself and made sure it was okay with her," says Ms. Rizos. [WSJ]

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