The Fix

Ben and Jen, the Osbournes and Eminem fall off Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, and WSJ reporters call byline strike. Plus: Could you be the next Michael Hutchence? Mark Burnett wants to know!


Salon Staff
June 14, 2004 1:40PM (UTC)

Afternoon Briefing:
The rich and the powerful Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100 list, which ranks people based on fame and personal fortune, this year includes Beyoncé Knowles ($23 million), Catherine Zeta-Jones ($18 million) and Angelina Jolie ($27 million). The highest-paid male actor on the list is Jim Carrey at No. 15. Not on this year's list: Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, the Osbournes and Eminem. (WENN)

Written by ...? Wall Street Journal reporters plan to leave their bylines off stories this Wednesday and Thursday as a protest related to the ongoing negotiations with their employer, Dow Jones & Co. The reporters' union representative Tom Lauricella said the byline strike was being called because the company had threatened to stop negotiating with the union and to impose a "punitive" contract. (Associated Press)

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Finding the next Michael Hutchence: The latest reality show from "The Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett has a macabre side to it. The premise of the show "Rock Star" will be finding a replacement for INXS lead singer Hutchence, who committed suicide in 1997. Auditions will be held on five continents and the winner will tour with the band and record a studio album. Said INXS member Tim Farriss, "After Michael died, we wanted to search the world for a new singer but didn't know how we could effectively do that. By having Mark and everyone at MBP [Mark Burnett Productions] embrace the concept, we've now found a fantastic way to make that happen." (Billboard via Reuters)

The L word: "Girlfriend," an Indian film about lesbian love, has been violently attacked by Hindu hard-line groups in Bombay and New Delhi, who smashed windows, tore posters and burned effigies outside movie theaters, saying the film was pornographic and against Indian culture. Women's groups have also criticized the film, saying it is titillation aimed at straight men. (The Guardian)

Juicy job opening: One of the highest-paid editorial gigs in the country is up for grabs. The editor in chief position at TV Guide, which is rumored to pay between $600,000 and $900,000, is vacant due to the resignation of former editor Michael Lafavore last month. One of the requirements is familiarity with new technology such as TiVo. Don't rush the résumés; there are already four finalists. (I Want Media)

-- Karen Croft

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Turn On:
"Joe Schmo" (10 p.m. ET; Spike), the reality show that doubles as a reality show spoof, returns on Tuesday night for its second season; this time around, the Schmos at the center of the show are a married couple who think they're appearing on something called "Last Chance for Love." Independent Lens presents Jay Rosenstein's "The Amasong Chorus: Singing Out" (PBS; check local listings), a documentary about a lesbian/feminist choir in Illinois that grows from a small group of volunteers into an award-winning and nationally recognized ensemble.

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-- Scott Lamb

Morning Briefing:
Bush bash? A pointed comment by Ronald Reagan's son Ron about politicians who use religion "to gain political advantage" has touched off a little political scuffle as to whether George W. Bush has the right to draft off of Reagan's legacy. The younger Reagan, who has lashed out at Bush before, made the comment as millions watched him eulogize his father, and several strategists feel it is but one example of the Reagan family distancing itself from Bush, and particularly from his stand against stem cell research, which Nancy Reagan has said she supports. Commented Harvard leadership expert Barbara Kellerman, "[Nancy] is not mad about the Bush family, and the last thing she intends is for W. to inherit her beloved and sanctified husband's mantle." (N.Y. Times)

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Material settlement: No more nasty exchanges between Madonna and Warner Music Group. The perpetual pop star and the corporation with whom she'd partnered to launch her label Maverick Records have settled their differences (and various lawsuits), with Warner agreeing to buy Madonna's share in Maverick for an undisclosed sum. Lyor Cohen, Warner Music's chairman, called the deal "win-win." (Associated Press)

Also settling their differences, at least for a day: President Bush and former President Clinton. At the unveiling of the official portraits of the Clintons at the White House, Bush said lots of nice things about the man he once said left his office in need of having its "honor and dignity" restored. "The years have done a lot to clarify the strengths of this man," Bush said, adding, " As chief executive, he showed a deep and far-ranging knowledge of public policy, a great compassion for people in need, and the forward-looking spirit that Americans like in a president." Bush had kind words for Sen. Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea, too, and even plugged Clinton's forthcoming book, "My Life," not that it needed it. Thanks to whopping advance sales, the book is already on online bestseller lists and headed into a second printing -- and it's not out for another week. (Associated Press)

Speaking of the Weinsteins: The latest permutation of rumors that Bob and Harvey Weinstein's Miramax will split from its parent, Disney, has Miramax joining forces with Steve Jobs' Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar, you may recall, also had an aborted alliance with Disney when the two companies failed to come to terms on a new contract. Harvey Weinstein, however, said as recently as Sunday that he'd "be more than happy to work out everything amicably with [Disney]." (Page Six)

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And speaking of Pixar: DreamWorks' "Shrek 2" has unseated Pixar's "Finding Nemo" to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time, a distinction "Nemo" has carried since it bested Disney's "The Lion King" for the spot last year. As of Sunday, "Shrek 2" has taken $354 million at the box office. (Reuters)

Oh and also? Rush Limbaugh says it's he -- and not his wife, Marta -- who requested a divorce. (Page Six) Tim Russert and State Department deputy press secretary Emily J. Miller (she of the mid-Powell-interview camera swing to palm trees) have hugged and made up. (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown) Nicole Richie says of the child molestation charges brought against her godfather, Michael Jackson, "I don't think he did anything." (Stuff magazine via Rush and Molloy) And Courtney Love has had to postpone many of her concert dates this summer because, according to her spokeswoman, "She has some legal obligations to fulfill." (Rush and Molloy)

-- Amy Reiter

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