The Fix

The Times kills its gossip column, and Britney's baby fractures his skull. Plus: Oprah's not sorry about being rich.

By Salon Staff
April 12, 2006 5:30PM (UTC)
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Morning Briefing:
Page Six watch: In today's continuing coverage of the Page Six scandal, the New York Observer has a great piece about spending time at home with Jared Paul Stern, which includes him answering calls from reporters and checking Gawker and saying hopeful things like: "You know, I am optimistic that by the time all this is done, really, I won't be damaged goods. I'll be better known -- and, if anything, at least back where I started, if not better." Elsewhere, Stern wonders why more journalists weren't rushing to his defense, and Gawker has photos of Page Six editor Richard Johnson looking very, very unhappy on his ill-timed honeymoon. (N.Y. Observer, Editor & Publisher, Gawker)

The Times axes its gossip column: While there has been no talk yet of Johnson stepping down as head of Page Six, there are casualties elsewhere: The New York Times is planning to kill off Boldface Names, the Gray Lady's own version of a gossip column that was originally created in direct response to the success of Page Six. As Variety writes, the column had always "struggled to define itself as a section that would feed the appetite for gossip created by the tabs while continuing to speak with the broadsheet's traditional voice." (Variety, N.Y. Observer via Romenesko)


Britney's baby bumps his head: Poor little Sean Preston Spears took a hard fall two weeks ago, and when Britney Spears and Kevin Federline finally took him to the hospital last Friday, they reportedly discovered he'd fractured his skull and suffered a minor blood clot. The baby's fine now, but, as is apparently standard practice in California when a baby comes into a hospital with serious in injuries, the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services paid a visit to the Spears home over the weekend. A spokesperson for DCFS helpfully reports, "Everyone was fine." (Star, TMZ)

America's favorite indie-movie couple, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, have announced they're engaged, and that Gyllenhaal is pregnant. They've been together for over four years. (People) ... First season's "Survivor" winner, Richard Hatch, has been placed in protective custody in a Massachusetts jail as he awaits sentencing and is being held away from the other inmates because of his "celebrity" status. (E! Online) ... It looks like in addition to the CBS News anchor job, Katie Couric's "60 Minutes" duties will start as soon as she leaves "Today" -- and rather than just being an occasional correspondent, she'll be one of the main fixtures on the next season of the show, which begins in September. (Fox 411) ... The Pulitzer Prize committee has started meeting for its final selections for this year's prizes -- the winners will be announced on Monday. (Editor & Publisher) ... Proof, a Detroit rapper who was one of Eminem's closest friends and was best man at his wedding, was shot and killed at a nightclub in northern Detroit on Tuesday night. He was 32. (Associated Press via Yahoo! News)

Money Quote:
Oprah Winfrey on how being wealthy is nothing to be ashamed about: "I have lots of things, like all these Manolo Blahniks. I have all that and I think it's great. I'm not one of those people like, 'Well, we must renounce ourselves.' No, I have a closet full of shoes and it's a good thing." (People)


-- Scott Lamb

Turn On:
Tonight ABC's "George Lopez" (8 p.m. EDT) has its fifth-season finale, and FX's "Black.White." (10 p.m. EDT) has its first-season finale. Meanwhile, MTV's "My Super Sweet 16" (10 p.m. EDT) has its third-season premiere.

-- Joe DiMento


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