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Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

People in the news

September 22, 2005

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Time for changes with '60 Minutes'

New York - From the time "60 Minutes" began in 1968, the first face viewers saw after the ticking stopwatch has been Mike Wallace's - until now.

Ed Bradley will replace Wallace in that prominent position when "60 Minutes" begins its new season on Sunday, a further indication of a changing of the guard at television's first and still most popular newsmagazine.

With Dan Rather rejoining "60 Minutes" and the show absorbing personnel from the canceled "60 Minutes II," there will be nine correspondents competing for space each week on a broadcast that generally runs three stories.

Sunday's broadcast will feature Lesley Stahl's interview with Roy Hallums, an American held hostage for 10 months in Iraq, a Steve Kroft story on the search for Osama bin Laden and Bradley's profile of New York Yankees shortstop and captain Derek Jeter.

Instead of his booming voice announcing, "I'm Mike Wallace," at the beginning of each broadcast, Wallace will instead be at the end of the opening segment, saying "these stories and Andy Rooney, tonight on '60 Minutes."'

It's a change that would be little noted on most broadcasts. But the opening is serious business at "60 Minutes," and Wallace is the iconic figure the show has long been identified with.

Wallace is expected to have a more limited role on the show, with five or six stories this season, said Jeff Fager, "60 Minutes" executive producer.

"In some ways it fits even better with what his role is on the broadcast these days," Fager said. "Mike still has it. He still pulls it off. Sometimes he can't remember what he had for breakfast but he can still pin someone down on an interview."

Wallace, 87, was traveling in Europe on a story Wednesday and could not immediately be reached, his assistant said.

"Mike's been saying he's going to cut back for the last five years and he hasn't really done it," Kroft said. "I think Mike will be in there pitching and will be going for the big interviews."

McMahon hits the road to pay tribute to Carson

North Platte, Neb. - Ed McMahon is taking to the road to pay tribute to longtime TV partner Johnny Carson, stopping in the late-night king's home state to reflect on the pair's friendship.

Carson, who grew up in Norfolk, died Jan. 23 of emphysema at age 79. He was the host of "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" from 1962 to 1992.

McMahon started working with Carson in 1957 as his announcer on "Who Do You Trust?" The game show ran until 1962.

"Heeeeere's Johnny!" was the booming announcement from McMahon that ushered Carson out to the stage of "The Tonight Show."

McMahon said he was closer to Carson than Carson's brother. They ate dinner together several nights a week and talked about their troubles, dreams and families.

"Johnny once described our relationship by saying we were as close as two people could be without being married," McMahon said.

Carson was the acknowledged king of late-night television and McMahon said the job was tough. It had its highs and lows like any job and Carson took it all in stride, he said.

"There is no planning. On the night it is really great, it's euphoria and if it is not so great there is always tomorrow night. That was his attitude," McMahon said.

Tyra Banks gets real

New York - Talk about keeping it real: Tyra Banks underwent a televised sonogram on her new talk show to prove that her breasts aren't fake.

"I'm tired of this rumor. It's something that's followed me forever," the supermodel said Tuesday on "The Tyra Banks Show."

After Banks asked the men in the audience to leave, Dr. Garth Fisher from ABC's "Extreme Makeover" performed a touch test and then the sonogram. He concluded: "Tyra Banks has natural breasts; there are no implants."

"By no means am I saying a breast implant is a bad thing, but it's not a choice that I made," the 31-year-old model said. "But it's something that a lot of the public ... think that I have, and that's so frustrating for me."

Banks, who models for Victoria's Secret, also displayed how her push-up bra exaggerated her body. However, Banks said she's not totally real.

"I got fake hair, y'all. I got fake eyelashes."

Yearwood skips appearances after death of her father

Nashville, Tenn. - Trisha Yearwood postponed a Wednesday appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" following the death of her father.

Jack H. Yearwood, 72, died early Tuesday in Monticello, Ga., said Amber Williams, a publicist for the country singer's record label, MCA Nashville.

Few details were available. Funeral arrangements were pending.

"Please keep the Yearwood family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," Williams said in a written statement.

Yearwood, 41, also postponed a Thursday performance at the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles.

Her hits include "She's in Love With the Boy," "Walkaway Joe," "XXXs and OOOs (an American Girl)" and "Georgia Rain."

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