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Who Are Grammy Sure-Shots? Here's a Clue

January 01, 2001

The Grammy organizers will announce the nominees for the 2000 awards on Wednesday, but there's no need to wait for the envelopes to be pried open: Here's a fearless forecast that some high-profile nods will go to 'N Sync, Shelby Lynne, Toni Braxton, Nelly, Sisqo and Destiny's Child. How do we know? Those artists will be attending the press conference at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and, if tradition holds, that means each of them will get a chance to feign surprise when their own names are read aloud. Grammy chief C. Michael Greene says some of that surprise is genuine: "We never tell anybody anything specific," he says, so it's not a slam-dunk for the press conference participants. But he concedes that he will tell managers and agents that their clients will "not be embarrassed" if they agree to add star power to the Wednesday event. Likewise, he says, "we get calls from people asking to participate and a lot of them I discourage from participating." Greene is privy to the nominees already because he sits in on the committee that oversees selections in marquee categories, but he's quick to point out that he will not know the winners until they're named on the Feb. 21 global broadcast. Reflecting on some past Grammy stumbles (remember when the Three Tenors won best album?), Greene says he doesn't long for the inside scoop. "On some, if I knew who was going to win, I wouldn't be in the hall."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday January 3, 2001 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
Grammy winner--An "In the Know" item in Monday's Calendar mistakenly reported that the Three Tenors had won a best album Grammy. "Three Tenors in Concert 1994" was nominated six years ago, but the award went to Tony Bennett's "MTV Unplugged" album.

Goodbye KIEV, Welcome Back KRLA

In the "everything old is new again" category, New Year's Day brings KRLA-AM back to life--in a way. The venerable rock-turned-talk station disappeared from Los Angeles' radar in December when an acquisition by Walt Disney Co. led to its conversion to all-sports KSPN-AM (1110). But Dave Armstrong, vice president and general manager of KIEV-AM (870), had other ideas. "KRLA is one of the most recognizable radio brands in the Los Angeles market," Armstrong said. "When these legendary call letters became available, we couldn't see them going outside of L.A." So today, KIEV officially slips into the history books, and KRLA steps into its place on the AM dial, with Armstrong hoping that the KRLA brand and the talk lineup he and his team have constructed since Salem Communications bought the station in 1998 will make for a winning combination. In the last six months alone, the station has added national hosts Hugh Hewitt and Dennis Prager to a lineup that includes local veteran George Putnam and Larry Marino, among others. And in keeping with the, ahem, understated tradition of talk radio, the station's official new sign-on is "News Talk 870, the New KRLA, Your Legendary Talk Station." Enough said.

Who Are Oscar Sure-Shots? Don't Ask Critics

And you probably thought all the critics' awards were over for the year. Already, the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., the San Diego Film Critics Society, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Las Vegas Film Critics and other critics groups have weighed in on what films and performances deserve to be called the best of the year. Well, the awards banquet is not quite finished. On Saturday, the National Society of Film Critics will announce its choices--and if the past is any prologue, this year's leading contenders are anyone's guess. The critics groups have gone in different directions. Among the winners for best film have been: Philip Kaufman's "Quills" (National Board of Review); Steven Soderbergh's "Traffic" (New York Film Critics Circle); Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.); Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous" (San Diego and Boston critics); Soderbergh's "Erin Brockovich" (Las Vegas Film Critics). Which is to say, it's a wide-open year for movie awards, with no clear favorites emerging yet for the Academy Awards in March. As for best actor and actress, the winners include Julia Roberts for "Erin Brockovich," Michael Douglas for "Wonder Boys," Laura Linney for "You Can Count on Me," Javier Bardem for "Before Night Falls," Tom Hanks for "Cast Away," Russell Crowe for "Gladiator" and Ellen Burstyn for "Requiem for a Dream." Some names consistently keep cropping up. Soderbergh has received the most kudos with several of the critics' associations selecting him as the best director for both "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich." He was also nominated for a Golden Globe award for both films. Our favorite award, though, comes from the Broadcast Film Critics Assn., which picked Wilson, Hanks' volleyball companion in "Cast Away," as "best inanimate object."

--Compiled by Times Staff Writers

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