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Publishers say they will delay the release of e-books

Also: Most museums in Paris reopen, and Bruce Springsteen supports same-sex marriage.

December 10, 2009

E-books will be held back

As the market quickens for "e-books," the schedule for their release is slowing down.

Simon & Schuster announced Wednesday that the electronic editions for more than 30 works coming out in the first half of 2010 would not be available until four months after the hardcover. Affected books include novels by Don DeLillo and Mary Higgins Clark and a memoir by Karl Rove.

HarperCollins spokeswoman Erin Crum said the publisher plans to withhold the digital version of five to 10 titles per month, starting next year. And Hachette Book Group USA will delay a "wide selection" of e-books in 2010, spokeswoman Sophie Cottrell said.

Publishers and authors have worried that e-books might hurt sales for hardcovers, which cost more; Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com and other online retailers commonly price top-selling e-releases at $9.99.

The digital market is estimated at 2% to 5% of total sales, more than double from two years ago.

-- associated press Most museums in Paris reopen

A strike at Paris' major museums to protest against planned job cuts waned as most of them opened their doors Wednesday.

The Louvre, the world's most visited museum, and Versailles Palace, the former residence of French kings, opened, although much later than regular opening hours. The Musee d'Orsay with its 19th century Impressionist art and the Sainte-Chapelle with its medieval stained-glass windows opened after being closed for much of last week. The modern art Pompidou Center, where the strike started two weeks ago, remained shut.

Unions are protesting the government's plans to replace only one out of every two retiring civil servants, which they say will cripple French museums.

-- bloomberg news Rocker supports gay marriage

Bruce Springsteen has thrown his support behind legislation backing same-sex marriage in his home state of New Jersey, with a note posted on his website. The proposal is due to be voted on today by the state's Senate.

Springsteen wrote that he supported the sentiment of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, who called the matter "a civil rights issue that must be approved to assure that every citizen is treated equally under the law."

Christopher Christie, the state's incoming Republican governor, has said he will veto the measure if it is passed, despite classifying himself as a Springsteen fan.

-- Randy Lewis The biggest 'Loser' ever

The latest winner of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" is the biggest loser in the show's history.

Danny Cahill, a 40-year-old land surveyor and musician from Broken Arrow, Okla., lost 239 pounds to win the $250,000 grand prize.

Cahill went from 430 pounds to 191 pounds, losing 55.58% of his body weight in six months and three weeks -- and breaking the record for the most weight lost by any contestant.

The Nielsen Co. said that with 13.4 million viewers, the Season 8 finale of "The Biggest Loser" on Tuesday night had the show's biggest audience in four years.

Erik Chopin, who won in 2006, held the previous record, dropping 214 pounds. He went from 407 pounds to 193 pounds.

In an interview Wednesday on the "Today" show, Cahill said his family motivated him to change his lifestyle.

-- associated press 'Early Show' wake-up call

With ABC poised to name George Stephanopoulos the new co-anchor of "Good Morning America" today, CBS moved Wednesday to shake up the leadership of its perennially third-ranked morning show.

Zev Shalev, executive producer of "The Early Show," told his staff that he is leaving to launch a new website called NewsTsar aimed at merging news with social media.

CBS News President Sean McManus praised Shalev for boosting the show's audience during his 18-month tenure and said his replacement would be announced shortly.

-- Matea Gold Palestinian sues 'Brüno's' Cohen

A Palestinian shopkeeper and father portrayed as a terrorist in the movie "Brüno" is suing film star Sacha Baron Cohen, David Letterman and others for libel and slander.

The lawsuit filed last week by Ayman Abu Aita in District of Columbia federal court seeks $110 million in damages.

In the movie, Cohen plays a gay Austrian fashion journalist trying to make it big in the United States. To achieve worldwide fame, Brüno travels to the Middle East to make peace. He interviews Abu Aita, and a caption labels the Bethlehem shopkeeper as a member of the militant Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.

Abu Aita is suing CBS and Letterman's company Worldwide Pants over an interview before the film's release in which the "Late Show" host and Cohen discussed Brüno's encounter with a "terrorist."

Universal Studios and a Letterman spokesman declined comment.

-- associated press

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