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Morning Report

Arts And Entertainment Reports From The Times, News Services And The Nation's Press.

November 18, 1998|SHAUNA SNOW

ART

And They're Off, Slowly: A much-anticipated marathon of New York auctions of Impressionist and Modern art got off to a troubled start Monday night at Sotheby's. A successful sale of 37 works from the Reader's Digest collection racked up a total of $86.6 million--safely within the estimated range of between $71 million to $98.9 million. But in an additional sale of 41 works consigned by a variety of collectors, 22 pieces went begging and the total take of $37.2 million was only half the auction house's low estimate of $74.7 million. In the Reader's Digest sale, Amedeo Modigliani's 1919 portrait of his mistress, Jeanne Hebuterne, whom he later married, commanded the top price of $15.1 million, surpassing the high estimate of $12 million and setting a new record for the artist. A 1950 bronze sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, "The Forest: Seven Figures and a Head," which went for $7.4 million, also set a record for the artist and exceeded Sotheby's expectations. Excitement was at a high pitch before the sales, but the large crowd that turned out for previews and auctions didn't respond as expected. Auction house officials attributed the lackluster results to problems with the world economy. Without competition from Asian collectors and dealers, unidentified Americans were the primary buyers, and there weren't enough of them Monday night.

TV & RADIO

More Changes at KABC-AM?: The status of 26-year morning-drive veteran Ken Minyard is up in the air at talk station KABC-AM (790). In response to questions about his future, Minyard, 59, said that he was notified by management on July 1 that his services would terminate by the end of the year unless his contract was renegotiated. "But we haven't had any talks, and essentially it's pretty clear I'm leaving as of Dec. 31," he said. KABC President Bill Sommers confirmed that Minyard, who hosts the 5-9 a.m. show with Peter Tilden, became a "free agent" on July 1, but said: "There has been no decision as to whether he's staying or going. . . . Do I want him to stay? What I want is for the ratings to get better in morning drive."

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Hockenberry Adds MSNBC Duties: "Dateline NBC" correspondent John Hockenberry will host his talk show, "Hockenberry," on cable's MSNBC, starting Dec. 7. The series will air weeknights at 5 p.m., replacing "The Big Show With Keith Olbermann." Olbermann is leaving MSNBC to host a nightly program on the Fox sports cable network. Hockenberry, meanwhile, will also continue on "Dateline NBC."

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Tube Notes: Starting Dec. 9, ABC will fill its Wednesday 9:30 p.m. slot--recently vacated by "Secret Lives of Men"--with the Drew Carey-hosted "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" . . . Fox will bring back its hourlong news series "Fox Files" on Dec. 3, airing in the Thursday 9 p.m. time slot. . . . UPN will air a Mariah Carey special, "Mariah Carey Around the World," on Dec. 15 at 9 p.m. . . . Cable's E! Entertainment Television will premiere "Elizabeth Taylor: The E! True Hollywood Story" on Nov. 29 at 8 p.m.

PERFORMING ARTS

Disney Hall Gift: Staples Center Foundation, the charitable arm of the future home of the Kings, Lakers and Clippers, today will announce a $1-million donation to another major downtown L.A. construction project: the Walt Disney Concert Hall. That brings the total raised for the hall, scheduled to open in 2002, to $197 million; $205 million is needed for its construction.

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Cerritos Season Additions: The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts has added several events to its 1998-99 season, including three performances by master magician Lance Burton on Feb. 26-28, marking his world premiere tour. Other additions include "A Smooth Jazz Christmas" with Dave Koz, Brenda Russell and Peter White (Dec. 2); Jose Hernandez's Mariachi Spectacular (Dec. 27); and country music singers Wynonna (March 5-6), Vince Gill (April 14) and Colin Raye (May 8).

VITAL STATS

Marriage Confirmed: Carmen Electra's publicist on Tuesday confirmed that the former "Baywatch" star married basketball bad boy Dennis Rodman last weekend in Las Vegas, and released what was said to be a statement from Rodman countering remarks made Monday by Rodman's manager saying that the marriage might not be legal because Rodman was "deeply intoxicated" at the time. "I apologize for any false statements given on my behalf regarding my marriage to Carmen Electra," the Rodman statement said. "I love Carmen and am proud to be married to her." Electra recently joined the cast of WB's low-rated drama "Hyperion Bay."

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