The Fix

Tom Brokaw to leave "Nightly News" anchor desk, Harvey Weinstein honored by the queen, and Catherine Deneuve's diary is a snoozer.

Salon Staff
April 19, 2004 1:39PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
Passing the peacock: Tom Brokaw will hand over his anchor duties to heir apparent Brian Williams on Dec. 1 but will stay with NBC to work on news specials. "Nightly News" is the No. 1 evening news show and Brokaw's departure is good news for No. 2, "World News Tonight With Peter Jennings." Then again, the "Nightly News" ratings haven't suffered when Williams has subbed for Brokaw in the past. (Variety)

Shadow play: Catherine Deneuve is publishing a collection of her diary entries this week called "In the Shadow of Myself." The 60-year-old French actress took notes while filming six of her movies, including "The April Fools," "Indochine" and "Dancer in the Dark." The book has mixed reviews, however, with some critics complaining that it is full of banalities like the fact she finds New Yorkers to be "bizarre, indecent and obese." (AFP)


Music memorabilia for sale: A guitar once used by Kurt Cobain sold for $117,500 this weekend, and a note that is supposedly John Lennon's last bit of handwriting before he was killed will go on sale for $325,000. John signed the doodle for Rabiah Seminole, a switchboard operator at Lennon's New York recording studio, shortly before he was shot on Dec. 8, 1980. Seminole says she will use the money for her horse sanctuary in Virginia. (BBC)

Honored: Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein, who has co-funded British projects including "Shakespeare in Love" and "Dirty Pretty Things," was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. (ABC News)

Get ready to rumble: Two new boxing-themed reality shows will duke it out this year. NBC has "The Contender," with Sylvester Stallone, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman starring in an elimination-style competition among 16 male amateurs. Fox also announced it has plans for a show hosted by pretty pugilist Oscar De La Hoya. (Hollywood Reporter via Reuters)


-- Karen Croft

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Turn On
New York wags have always been a lot more interested in flirty bad boy Rocco DiSpirito's reality TV show, "The Restaurant," than the rest of the country (Exhibit A: New York magazine's excavation of Rocco's spoiled relationship with financier Jeffrey Chodorow), and reviews for last season were middling. But early word is that DiSpirito's clashes with Chodorow make for a much more filling season this time around (debut: 10 p.m. ET, NBC). "Six Feet Under" won't return until June. Can the real-life California family that runs a funeral home and stars in "Family Plots" (debut: 9 p.m. ET, A&E) keep our attention for that long?


-- Kerry Lauerman

Morning Briefing:
McDonald's chief dies of heart attack: Jim Cantalupo, 60, McDonald's chairman and chief executive, "died on Monday while attending a franchisee convention in Orlando." According to Reuters, "He acted quickly to focus on improved food and service that led to a revitalization of the company's U.S. market, which has turned around after a sustained period of flagging sales." (Reuters)


Bono, backed: Viacom, Fox, Radio One and several other broadcast groups as well as People for the American Way, Media Access Project, Penn & Teller and Margaret Cho are joining together to ask the FCC to reconsider its decision to press for large fines and other penalties from companies that let the F-word and other words it deems inappropriate slip onto the air. Not onboard: NBC, which broadcast Bono's "fucking brilliant" comment on the Golden Globes, prompting the FCC ruling. NBC plans to file its own petition today. (Broadcasting & Cable)

Free bird: The New York Times, apparently inadvertently, runs a photo of magazine editor Greg Gutfield giving someone the bird to illustrate a story about how Dennis Publishing is sending the publicity-prone Gutfield, the former editor of Stuff, across the pond to edit the British version of Maxim. In the process, Dennis "may be validating those who said Mr. Gutfeld would never work in American magazines again." (NYT)

Daily Condi: The most interesting Condi Rice news of the day may not be that she disputes Bob Woodward's claim, in his book "Plan of Attack," that President Bush decided in January 2003 to go to war with Iraq and withheld news of his decision from his secretary of state, Colin Powell. No, the most interesting Rice tidbit today may be that, at a recent dinner party hosted by N.Y. Times D.C. bureau chief Philip Taubman and his Times reporter wife, Felicity Barringer, and attended by other Times luminaries, the national security advisor was overheard saying, "As I was telling my husb--" and then stopping herself abruptly, before saying, "As I was telling President Bush." Told of the slip, Rice's spokesman laughed before offering his "No comment." (New York magazine)


Spacey's new secret: Kevin Spacey was reportedly mugged and beaten while walking his dog at 4:30 a.m. in a London park near his home. Though he initially reported the attack (during which his cellphone was taken) to police and was treated in the hospital for a minor head injury, he later contacted the authorities to withdraw his claim. Said police, "There's now no crime to investigate." (U.K. Mirror)

Influencers: Time magazine has published its list of the 100 ">

Becks' admission? London's News of the World, the paper that first reported claims that soccer star David Beckham had cheated on his wife, Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham, with his former personal assistant, is now alleging that Beckham admitted to having had the affair during a phone call with his wife on April 8. Two other women have since stepped forward with claims that they, too, had extramarital affairs with Beckham, and the latest rumor is that Victoria -- who with her husband had called in lawyers to fight the allegations -- is now considering a trial separation. (Reuters)


Money Quote:
"American Idol" star Simon Cowell on his fellow judge Paula Abdul: "Normally you can tell what somebody will be like sexually by her facial expressions, you know? Paula's actually got a very naughty face. I think she is quite sexy." In fact, he says, he used to find her downright fantasy-worthy, "but then I got to know her." (Elle magazine via Page Six)

-- Amy Reiter and Kerry Lauerman

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