Clinton Slated to Address Industry: Former President Bill Clinton has agreed to be the June 15 keynote speaker at R&R Convention 2001, a radio industry conference hosted by the trade publication Radio & Records. The conference takes place June 14-16 at the Century Plaza Hotel. Singers Stevie Nicks and Shelby Lynne will perform at the conference June 15 in honor of Clinton's appearance.
Here Comes El Sol: Spanish Broadcasting System, the operator of KLAX-FM (97.9), has debuted a new music station, KXOL-FM (96.3), nicknamed "El Sol," on the frequency formerly occupied by the Foursquare Gospel church's KFSG-FM. The Spanish-language station, targeting 25-to-54-year-old Latinos with adult contemporary music, personalities and contests, plans to continue commercial-free through the summer with what it says will be an unprecedented 50,000 songs in a row.
TV & THE INTERNET
That's Not All, Folks: Warner Bros. Online on Monday launched a Web site (http://www.looneytunes.com) for "all things Looney Tunes" that will include new animated programming starring Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Roadrunner and other characters. The first new offering is "Toon Marooned," a 10-part takeoff on the "Survivor" phenomenon in which nine Looney Tunes characters duke it out for a $100 purse while stranded on a jungle peninsula. The site also includes "read-along" books for kids and interviews with Looney Tunes' creators, animators and voice talent.
Networks Tongue-Tied: Three of the four major networks declined to comment Tuesday on a report that concluded that prime-time television continues to be an overwhelmingly white universe. "Fall Colors 2000-01," conducted by the San Francisco-based advocacy group Children Now and released Tuesday, found that little progress has been made by ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox this season in terms of increasing diversity, despite commitments to increase minority representation. Josie Thomas, senior vice president of diversity for CBS, noted that Children Now found that CBS had the most visible cultural diversity among the networks, and was several points higher than its competitors in terms of Latino representation. "We are continuing to work on the issue," Thomas said.
Getty's Degas Addition: The J. Paul Getty Museum has acquired "After the Bath," a rear view of a nude, red-haired woman with her maid, painted around 1895 by French artist Edgar Degas. The Post-Impressionist work portrays one of the artist's favorite themes and exemplifies his experimental approach to composition. Acquired from a private collection at an undisclosed price, the painting was last exhibited in 1995 at the Royal Academy of Art in London. It is now on view in the Getty's 19th century gallery.
Wheeldon Takes Up N.Y. Residence: Christopher Wheeldon has been appointed as the first resident choreographer at New York City Ballet. Wheeldon, who choreographed ballet sequences for the feature film "Center Stage" and is working on a forthcoming Broadway version of "Sweet Smell of Success," was also New York City Ballet's first artist in residence. He takes the new resident choreographer post with the 2001-02 season.
Opening Country Music Doors? Following a market research study showing that many country music fans keep their affections for singers such as Alan Jackson and Tim McGraw in the closet, the country music industry is launching a self-deprecating advertising campaign aimed at encouraging fans to be proud and vocal. The slogan is "Country. Admit it. You love it." Ed Benson, executive director of the Country Music Assn., which is planning the $2-million campaign, cited a woman in Dallas who said she switched her radio station away from country music whenever "someone cool" pulled up next to her car. The ads are expected to hit television, print and billboards in the fall.
VH1's Video Ranking: Michael Jackson's "Thriller," a 1983 mini-movie directed by John Landis, topped a list of the "100 Greatest Videos" compiled by cable's VH1 and released Tuesday. Madonna's "Like a Prayer"--which caused a stir in 1989 for depicting the pop diva kissing a black Jesus figure--came in second, followed by Peter Gabriel's animated "Sledgehammer," Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Guns N' Roses' "November Rain." Madonna had six videos on the list, followed by Jackson with five.
Whoopi Goldberg has won the Kennedy Center's fourth annual Mark Twain Prize for humor, and will be recognized with a Washington gala Oct. 15. The prize's previous recipients are Richard Pryor, Jonathan Winters and Carl Reiner. . . . The recording academy's Latin branch has named crooner Julio Iglesias the 2001 Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Person of the Year. The honor--to be presented in Miami on Sept. 11--recognizes Iglesias' "professional and philanthropic accomplishments" as "the preeminent ambassador for Latin music and culture throughout the world." . . . Tom Brokaw's "NBC Nightly News" has notched a full 52 consecutive weeks as the evening newscast ratings leader. . . . Singer Sting was unhurt when a small plane in which he was riding skidded off an Italian runway while trying to land in Florence on Monday.