News Corp. sees Hulu charging fees for access
Hulu, the free online video site where television shows and movies can be watched in their entirety, will start charging fees at some point, one of its owners said.
Hulu has struggled to make money despite its popularity as an ad-supported site. News Corp., which co-owns the site with NBC Universal, Walt Disney Co. and Providence Equity Partners, said it hasn’t decided what form the subscription model would take.
Chase Carey, News Corp.’s president and chief operating officer, said at a conference in New York on Wednesday that subscription fees could come as early as 2010.
News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said last month that the company was considering charging for Hulu, but hadn’t made a final decision.
Lil Wayne pleads guilty in gun possession case
New York — In the midst of a career surge that has made him one of rap’s biggest stars, Lil Wayne is bracing for a year behind bars after pleading guilty Thursday in a two-year-old gun case.
A glum Lil Wayne, 27, said little as he admitted illegally having a loaded gun on his tour bus in 2007, moving to end a case that had churned along as he collected Grammys and gold records. He’s expected to get a year in jail at his sentencing, set for February.
The plea, which came as he boasted the country’s No. 1 pop song, makes Lil Wayne the latest in a long line of rappers to face incarceration after topping the charts.
Arguably rap’s most popular artist, Lil Wayne somberly answered his judge’s questions with “yes, sir” and “no, sir” as he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
He acknowledged he had a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun when the bus was stopped shortly after a Manhattan concert on July 22, 2007. His lawyer had previously disputed the gun was the rapper’s, in part by questioning the reliability of a highly sensitive DNA test that prosecutors said tied him to the weapon.
He had faced at least 3 1/2 years in prison if convicted of the original weapons-possession charges against him.
Bahamas lawmaker to face judge over mistrial
Nassau, Bahamas — The Bahamas lawmaker who caused a mistrial in the John Travolta extortion case has been ordered to appear before the judge to explain why he announced an acquittal before the jury had declared a verdict, officials said Thursday.
Picewell Forbes was summoned to explain his remarks in a televised speech to a political party that prompted the judge to dismiss jurors after a month of testimony, two court officials told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue.
Judge Anita Allen said she had no choice but to order a new trial because Forbes’ remarks Wednesday night gave the appearance that information had been leaked from the jury room.
Two stars out at ‘Melrose Place’
Los Angeles — Ashlee Simpson-Wentz and Colin Egglesfield are moving out of “Melrose Place.”
Their characters will make a final appearance on the CW drama in January, the network said Thursday.
Heather Locklear, who starred as Amanda in the 1990s “Melrose Place,” is joining the new edition starting with the Nov. 17 episode.
Simpson-Wentz’s Violet and Egglesfield’s Auggie have been part of the murder mystery involving Sydney (Laura Leighton), whose death kicked off the season and who’s been seen in flashbacks. Original cast member Thomas Calabro also co-stars.
Pie-splattered comedian Soupy Sales dies at 83
Detroit — Soupy Sales, the rubber-faced comedian whose anything-for-a-chuckle career was built on 20,000 pies to the face and 5,000 live TV appearances across a half-century of laughs, died Thursday. He was 83.
Sales died at Calvary Hospice in the Bronx, N.Y., said his former manager and longtime friend, Dave Usher. Sales had many health problems and entered the hospice last week, Usher said.
At the peak of his fame in the 1950s and ’60s, Sales was one of the best-known faces in the nation, Usher said.
“If President Eisenhower would have walked down the street, no one would have recognized him as much as Soupy,” Usher said.
Sales began his TV career in Cincinnati and Cleveland, then moved to Detroit, where he drew a large audience on WXYZ-TV. He moved to Los Angeles in 1961.
The comic’s pie-throwing schtick became his trademark, and celebrities lined up to take one on the chin alongside Sales.
“I’ll probably be remembered for the pies, and that’s all right,” Sales said in a 1985 interview.
Hearing postponed for ‘Big Brother 9’ winner
Boston — A court hearing for a winner of the reality TV show “Big Brother” on drug charges has been postponed.
Adam Jasinski, of Delray Beach, Fla., is charged with attempting to sell 2,000 oxycodone pills. He was scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston on Thursday, but his detention hearing has been postponed until Oct. 30.
Jasinski was arrested in North Reading, Mass., last weekend after he allegedly showed a government witness two plastic bags filled with oxycodone.
Jasinski won $500,000 on “Big Brother 9” in April 2008. A federal drug agent says the 31-year-old told him that he had been using his winnings on the CBS reality show to buy thousands of oxycodone pills and resell them.