The Insider

Ellis was on City Council when he founded Apex back in the mid-eighties with the assistance of city financial advisor Tom Masterson, a move that naturally raised accusations of a conflict of interest against the then councilman. Since then, Apex has regularly been one of the top ten municipal bond brokerages in Texas and one of the largest minority-owned bond firms in the country. Ellis is reportedly casting about for some less expensive executives to run the firm while he serves in the Senate.

On the Dole
A vigilant media watcher tells us that KPRC talk host Mike Richards has been shilling for Bob Dole on the air by giving an address where people can send contributions to Dole's presidential campaign. But a political programming expert for the Federal Communications Commission says there's apparently nothing illegal about a radio host playing fundraiser for a particular candidate. Over at the Federal Elections Commission, spokesman Ian Stirton says that Richards nonetheless might have to declare his fundraising plugs as in-kind contributions to the Dole campaign, although the FEC has never directly addressed the issue. Stirton also observes that the Dole campaign's big problem right now is that it's bumping up against federally imposed campaign spending limits, so Richards' fundraising efforts may not be doing the Republican any good. Richards did not return a call from The Insider, but KPRC general manager Dan Patrick tells us he wasn't aware Richards was acting as a barker for Dole. "I would probably prefer that we didn't," says Patrick, "although I leave each host to decide where he goes with his show."

Inside Out?
Inside Houston Magazine, the content-free print appendage of the video infomercial operation of the same name, is trying to stay afloat following the resignations of co-editors Ann Stone and Rod Evans. The pair and other staff members quit after being informed by management of a new work schedule: they would be laid-off for three weeks of every month but be expected to return to work each fourth week to put out the magazine. "As absurd as it sounds," confirms Stone, "that is exactly what we were told. We assumed that the last week we would be working approximately 24 hours a day." Stone and Evans declined that opportunity, and are busy job hunting this week.

Inside Houston bills itself as Houston's only monthly magazine and the city's second-largest publication. A promise of exposure in the magazine is part of the pitch to businesses who have to pay to be featured on the Inside Houston television show. Publisher Tom Burgess insists the magazine will come out at the end of the month. Inside Houston owner Don Touchet did not return a call from The Insider.

The Insider remains at large, so dial 624-1483 or 624-1496 (fax).

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