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83 million tune in to Haiti telethon

January 26, 2010

Many eyes on Haiti show

More than 83 million people tuned in Friday night for at least a portion of the Hope for Haiti Now telethon, which aired commercial-free on dozens of networks. The fundraising effort, spearheaded by actor George Clooney and MTV Networks, had an average audience of more than 24 million viewers and pulled in at least $61 million in pledges from the general public to help survivors of the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake that rocked Haiti.

Organizers on Monday were still tabulating additional donations made by corporations and large private donors, as well as proceeds from an album of the telethon's live performances sold on iTunes.

One of the few networks that didn't carry the telethon was Fox News. The counterprogramming strategy paid off, ratings-wise: Between 8 and 10 p.m. EST, the cable channel averaged 3.8 million viewers with its regular lineup of "The O'Reilly Factor" and "Hannity." CNN, whose anchor Anderson Cooper provided live reports from Port-au-Prince for the telethon, drew 1.19 million viewers for its airing of the fundraiser, while MSNBC logged 468,000.

-- Matea Gold A new way to read LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is giving the general public an unprecedented peek into its trove of rare and out-of-print art publications through a new mini-website.

Dubbed the Reading Room, the site, www.lacma .org/art/collections.aspx, is intended to make books, catalogs and other literature available that would otherwise be difficult to access, according to LACMA. The museum said the site currently featured 10 rare art catalogs, including "Six More," the catalog for LACMA's 1963 exhibition on L.A. pop; "Billy Al Bengston," a rare 1968 monograph; and the surveys "Late Fifties at the Ferus" (1968).

The enhanced accessibility of the museum's publications doesn't mean that they can be copied and repurposed at will. LACMA said that content on the site was limited to non-commercial personal or educational purposes, or for "fair use" as defined by U.S. copyright laws.

-- David Ng Tim Burton to judge at Cannes

Filmmaker Tim Burton will head the jury at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

In a statement released today by the organizers of the French Riviera festival, the director of "Edward Scissorhands," "Ed Wood" and "Corpse Bride" said that heading up the nine-member jury in May was a "great honor."

"After spending my early life watching triple features and 48-hour horror movie marathons, I'm finally ready for this," Burton said.

The 63rd Cannes festival will be held May 12 to 23. The rest of the jury will be announced later.

-- associated press Rosy future for Picasso painting

A Picasso painting damaged when a woman lost her balance and fell on the canvas last week will be repaired in time for an exhibition of the artist's works in April, the Metropolitan Museum of Art said Monday.

"The Actor," a painting from Picasso's rose period, will be restored at the New York museum's conservation laboratory, the Met said.

The accident has also led museum director Thomas P. Campbell to request a review of relevant policies and procedures, spokeswoman Elyse Topalian said.

The museum described the damage as an irregular 6-inch tear to the lower right-hand corner of the painting. Conservation and curatorial experts "fully expect" that the restoration "will be unobtrusive," the museum said.

The artwork is nearly 6-by-4 feet and depicts an acrobat in a pink costume and blue knee-high boots striking a pose against an abstracted backdrop.

-- associated press Clear Channel's Stern warming

Clear Channel Communications Inc., the home of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, said it was interested in signing Howard Stern when the shock jock's contract with Sirius satellite radio expires.

That would mark an about-face for the nation's largest radio chain, which yanked his show from its stations in 2004 after his raunchy broadcasts were repeatedly subjected to regulatory fines.

Stern, whose five-year, $500-million contract with Sirius XM Radio Inc. expires at year's end, appeared to dismiss the prospects of signing with the company.

He told another radio show that it would be "very difficult" to go back to the government-imposed restrictions on terrestrial radio but that in any case, "I can't imagine the day where I would ever work for Clear Channel."

-- associated press

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