Katie Couric and the "CBS Evening News" team did some striking work during a two-day trip to Afghanistan last week, only to see some record-setting low ratings in return.
The CBS newscast averaged 4.89 million viewers last week, the lowest for evening newscasts in the nearly 20 years in which compatible Nielsen Co. records exist and most likely the lowest for at least a couple of decades before that into the early days of television. CBS also dipped below 5 million for one week in late July, during the normally slow summer months.
For the Thursday telecast that started the trip, the CBS newscast was seen by 4.69 million people, Nielsen said. Friday's show dipped to 4.38 million.
Wylie-Amazon exclusive is off
An exclusive e-book deal between Amazon.com and the agent for such Random House classics as "Invisible Man" and "Lolita" is no longer exclusive, and no longer a deal.
Random House Inc. and the Wylie Agency announced Tuesday that "Invisible Man," "Rabbit Is Rich" and several other works were being "removed" from a program brokered between Wylie and Amazon that offered them as e-books available only through the online retailer.
Instead, Random House, which had claimed electronic rights, will publish the books on a "non-exclusive basis," meaning that consumers can buy them through Amazon, Barnes & Noble.com and other sellers of digital books.
Lynch to pick some AFI films
AFI Fest, the film festival backed by the American Film Institute, Tuesday named David Lynch as its first ever guest artistic director for its November event, returning the Oscar-nominated filmmaker to his movie roots.
Lynch, 64, who enjoys a loyal cult following from films that include "Blue Velvet" and "Mulholland Drive," studied filmmaking at AFI and his career received a big break when the institute helped in getting his "Eraserhead" made and screened.
As the festival's guest artistic director, Lynch will choose a group of movies that have inspired him throughout his career.
He also created the event's poster, which shows a clay figure of a person hovering in the air over L.A.
Medvedev hosts Bono
Russia's rock-music-loving president hosted Bono, the frontman of the Irish band U2, at his resplendent residence near the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday, and praised him for writing music "that unites generations."
Dmitry Medvedev, a well-known fan of the classic rock acts Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, complimented the 50-year-old singer, six years his senior, for highlighting problems in Africa, such as poverty and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
"You are doing important things, because taking care of people is not only a job for politicians," Medvedev said.
The president chatted in English with Bono, whose band will play its first-ever concert in Russia on Wednesday as part of its "360" world tour.
Divorce claims never sleep
Michael Douglas' return to his Academy Award-winning "Wall Street" role also spawned a legal sequel to his decade-old divorce.
Lawyers representing the actor and ex-wife Diandra Douglas tangled in a New York court Tuesday over her claim that she's entitled to half his earnings from "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," set to open Sept. 24.
The couple's 23-year marriage ended in 2000. He's now married to Oscar- and Tony-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The former couple's multimillion-dollar divorce gives Diandra Douglas the right to share in proceeds from spinoffs and other projects related to work Michael Douglas did while they were married.
Egypt plans to set up a security control room to monitor all museums after the weekend theft of a $55-million Vincent van Gogh painting in Cairo, Zahi Hawass, head of the country's antiquities agency, said Tuesday.
Culture Minister Faruq Hosni also has formed a committee to review security measures after the theft at the Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum, Hawass said in a statement.