Gov. Palin’s daughter, fiancé break up
Wasilla, Alaska — Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin, the teenage daughter of Gov. Sarah Palin, have broken off their engagement, he said Wednesday, about 2 1/2 months after the couple had a baby.
Johnston, 19, told The Associated Press that he and 18-year-old Bristol Palin mutually decided “a while ago” to end their relationship. He declined to elaborate as he stood outside his family’s home in Wasilla, about 40 miles north of Anchorage.
He also said some details of the breakup, rumors of which had been swirling on the Internet, were inaccurate.
Bristol Palin said in a statement issued through a spokeswoman for her mother’s political action committee that she was “devastated.”
The two teens are the parents of a boy named Tripp, who was born Dec. 27.
Brown removes name from Kids Choice Awards
New York — There won’t be any awkward Chris Brown moment at the Kids’ Choice Awards — the embattled pop star has withdrawn his name from the ballot.
Brown had been nominated for favorite male singer and favorite song for “Kiss Kiss” at the March 28 awards show on Nickelodeon. The nominations came shortly before his arrest for allegedly attacking girlfriend and fellow pop star Rihanna.
A petition had been circulated to take his name off the ballot, but Nickelodeon said on Tuesday he would remain on it. But with the backlash against him still strong, on Wednesday, Brown decided to take his name out of consideration.
On Wednesday, the network said in a statement that it agrees with and respects his decision to bow out.
Brown was charged with two felonies last week for allegedly attacking Rihanna on Feb. 8.
Tyra Banks takes on issue of dating violence
New York — In the wake of pop star Rihanna’s alleged beating by singer boyfriend Chris Brown, Tyra Banks is devoting an episode of her talk show to the issue of teen dating abuse.
It’s a subject close to her heart. In the segment airing Thursday on “The Tyra Banks Show,” the super model shares her experience dating a man who emotionally abused her. Banks says the man chipped away at her, trying to break her down so he could be in control. One day, she woke up and decided to end the relationship because “when you’re done, you know you’re done.”
Banks will be a guest on the live Thursday edition of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which Winfrey has dedicated to dating violence in response to the alleged assault of Rihanna.
Recession forcing layoffs at Sesame Workshop
New York — The crisis on Wall Street is plaguing Sesame Street.
Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of “Sesame Street” and other kids’ programs, is cutting about one-fifth of its work force because of the economic downturn.
The New York-based company said Wednesday that it’s eliminating 67 of 355 staff positions.
Declaring it is “not immune to the unprecedented challenges of today’s economic environment,” the company pronounced a need “to operate with fewer resources in order to achieve our strategic priorities.”
The statement reiterated the organization’s mission “of helping children reach their highest potential here and around the globe.”
Best known as the home of such Muppet characters as Big Bird and Elmo, Sesame Workshop was founded in 1968 as Children’s Television Workshop, then unveiled the groundbreaking “Sesame Street” as a literacy-building initiative a year later.
USA network sending Brokaw on a road trip
New York — NBC’s Tom Brokaw never claimed he was retiring when he left “Nightly News” after the 2004 election. He’s almost as visible on TV as he was before.
Brokaw has signed on for a USA network project that will have him traveling along U.S. Highway 50 in the coming months, reporting on the economic crisis and Americans’ reaction to the first year of President Barack Obama’s administration.
This is after filling in on NBC’s “Meet the Press” for half of last year following Tim Russert’s death, and frequently appearing alongside Brian Williams during coverage of high-profile events like the inauguration and election.
“What I’ve learned is it’s pretty hard to shift my motor into a lower gear,” Brokaw said.
However, Brokaw, 69, said he’s careful to make sure his schedule isn’t all work and no play. This year he’s been hunting, skiing and fishing, and he just returned from a bike-riding trip to South Africa.
Mandy Moore weds Ryan Adams in Georgia
New York — Mandy Moore is a married woman.
Publicist Jillian Fowkes confirms the actress-singer and her fiance, rock musician Ryan Adams, quietly tied the knot Tuesday in Savannah, Ga. No further details were provided.
The 24-year-old Moore confirmed her engagement to Adams last month.