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April 10, 2005

Update on what's going on in Wayne's World

KTRK2 logo.gifAfter previous posts here and here regarding local investigative reporter Wayne Dolcefino's recent squabble with his long-time employer, KTRK-TV, this Chronicle article confirms that the conflict arose from the station quashing Dolcefino's story on the non-profit Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo's lavish spending on its offices and the Rodeo's rather pedestrian amount of charitable contributions in relation to the size of the revenues generated by the Rodeo.

Dolcefino is famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) in local circles for his outspoken investigative journalism pieces of high-profile targets. Who can forget the devastating Dolcefino series that KTRK ran several years ago on Doug Sanders' now-defunct charity senior golf tournament? The Chron reports that KTRK bowed to pressure from the Rodeo in spiking Dolcefino's Rodeo story, probably because the station is one of many local groups that is considering partnering with the Rodeo on a summer festival that is currently in the planning stages.
Essentially, Dolcefino would have reported that the Rodeo spent lavishly on its new offices at Reliant Park and that it provides many free perks to the media representatives who cover the event for various media organizations. Dolcefino's story also would have addressed the Rodeo's low level of charitable contributions compared to other charitable organizations, which Rodeo representatives contend is unfair because the Rodeo's primary purpose is entertainment and its charitable contributions are ancillary to that primary purpose.

An interesting story would be comparing the charitable contributions of the Rodeo with those of Houston's other major non-profit entertainment sponsor, the Houston Golf Association, which puts on the Shell Houston Open each April. The HGA is considerably smaller than the Rodeo, but each organization operates in much the same way -- a non-profit corporation sponsoring an entertainment event with the pitch that charities are the primary beneficiary of the proceeds from the event. Maybe that's the story that Dolcefino should really pursue.

Posted by Tom at April 10, 2005 6:40 AM |


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