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June 03, 1996|BETH KLEID


New Talkers: Talk-station KMPC-AM (710) has begun making its first programming changes under the regime of its new president and general manager, Maureen Lesourd, who took over last month. Star Parker, who has been on the air from noon-3 p.m. since February, is being replaced today on an interim basis by civil rights attorney Leo Terrell and former Superior Court Judge Burton Katz. It's being billed as a liberal/conservative, point/counterpoint program on legal and topical issues. Replacements will be found for their Sunday 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. slot. Meanwhile, the station said that Dr. David Viscott, a psychiatrist and longtime Los Angeles radio personality who dispenses advice about personal relationships, is being dropped by syndicator SW Networks and will be replaced beginning Tuesday on an interim basis by Matt Allan, formerly of KIIS-FM (102.7), and on occasion by Lee Marabal, who has done nationally syndicated talk programs.


Anchors Replaced: KCBS-TV's Brad Goode and correspondent Libby Weaver have been named to anchor "Extra," the syndicated magazine show that airs locally on KNBC-TV. The pair replace Arthel Neville and Dave Nemeth. The show's producers attributed the change to an evolution in the format, which is shifting from purely entertainment to a more general news program. A publicist for the show would only say that the change will take place "sometime in June." Another entertainment news show, "Access Hollywood," will premiere in September, airing opposite "Extra" in a number of major cities.


Au Revoir, Picket Signs: Picketing has stopped in front of the Samuel French bookstore in Hollywood. Opponents of rising royalty rates for French-licensed shows in sub-100-seat theaters have ended their protest because organizer Matt Chait detected "some movement" in the French position during a conversation with the company's local director, Leon Embry. Chait said he's adopting a "wait and see" attitude. Embry did not return calls from The Times.


Jailed in Protest: Woody Harrelson was arrested Saturday in Kentucky after planting four marijuana seeds as part of his campaign for legalized industrial hemp while a CNN news crew recorded the staged event for broadcast. Harrelson had alerted state officials about his intentions. A guest of the Kentucky Industrial Fiber Hemp Conference, the actor was accompanied by an attorney, a spokesman and a photographer. The marijuana cultivation charge he faces is a misdemeanor--planting five seeds would have been a felony. Harrelson, who was released on bond, will go to trial to challenge state law because it doesn't differentiate between industrial hemp, strains of which have virtually none of the intoxicant found in potent varieties favored by illicit smokers, and smokable marijuana, his lawyer said. A Kentucky official said Harrelson will be prosecuted like any other alleged offender.


Carjacking Denied: An 18-year-old man has pleaded innocent to commandeering actress Robin Wright's car at gunpoint in Santa Monica last week. Dackery Williams entered the plea Friday to one count each of carjacking and robbery. Bail was set at $100,000 and he was ordered back to court on June 11. A 16-year-old boy also charged in juvenile court in the carjacking of the 30-year-old actress and her two children faces arraignment today.


Botanicum Benefit: Singer/songwriters Ricki Lee Jones, Van Dyke Parks, Brian Wilson, Stan Ridgway and Billy Swan will take part in a special songwriters symposium on Saturday to benefit the Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga. Proceeds from the event at the venue, which will include performances, will be used to upgrade the seating accommodations at the rustic theater which was founded in 1950 by the late actor Will Geer. Chris Douridas of KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" will host. Limited seats are available for a tax-deductible donation of $25 or $100 and can be purchased by calling (310) 455-1441.


"Puss in Boots," a live-action musical film with a score written by classic rock songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, reportedly is in the works. The script is based on the French folk tale about a cat who is bequeathed to a young boy and guides him to fame and fortune. The cat will be animatronic, with a famous voice not yet cast. Herbert Ross is in talks to direct. . . . Stevie Wonder has received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, home to the new Stevie Wonder Center for Computing in the Arts. Wonder helped pioneer the use of synthesizers and other technology in music. The Wonder Center is designed to teach music students how to use such technology.

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