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Quick Takes: 9/11 museum is delayed

December 30, 2011

Work on a planned museum at the World Trade Center has ground to a halt because of a financial dispute, and there is now no possibility it will open on time next year, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Thursday.

The underground museum commemorating victims of the 9/11 attacks was scheduled to open in September on the 11th anniversary of the disaster, a year after the opening of a memorial at the site that has already drawn 1 million visitors.

But in recent months, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum foundation has been fighting with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over who is responsible for paying millions of dollars in infrastructure costs related to the project.

The Port Authority, which owned the trade center and is building the museum, claims that the foundation owes it $300 million. The foundation claims that the authority actually owes it $140 million, because of delays in the project.

—Associated Press

Ghost Rider is on Marvel team

Comic book publisher Marvel Entertainment owns the rights to the Ghost Rider character in the fiery form that originated in the early 1970s, a federal judge ruled this week as she rejected the claims of a former Marvel writer seeking to cash in on lucrative movie rights.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest tossed out 4-year-old claims brought by Gary Friedrich, who said he created the motorcycle-driving Ghost Rider with the skeletal head that sometimes had fire blazing from it. A Ghost Rider of the 1950s and '60s was a western character who rode a horse.

The judge said Friedrich gave up all ownership rights when he signed checks containing language relinquishing rights to the predecessor companies of Marvel Entertainment LLC.

—Associated Press

Frampton comes alive, sues label

Peter Frampton is suing his record label in Los Angeles, claiming he is entitled to increased royalties from digital downloads of his music on iTunes and other online retailers.

In the breach of contract lawsuit filed in federal court, Frampton contends he should get half the net receipts Universal Music Group collects from digital downloads instead of a lower split agreed to in the company's contract with the singer-guitarist that was signed before the explosion in digital downloading.

A Universal representative could not be reached for comment.

At issue are the potentially huge royalties earned when Universal licenses Frampton's music to third-party distributors, such as Apple's iTunes and cellphone companies, which market the songs as ring tones.

—City News Service

Winfrey: OWN needs more time

Oprah Winfrey earned the rare opportunity to convert her media charisma into a monogrammed TV channel. Now she's the one tasked with rescuing OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, after a disappointing first year.

"I would absolutely say it is and was not where I want it to be for year one," Winfrey said.

But Winfrey, who said management team errors in planning and execution could serve as a cautionary tale, rejects the idea that a single year's performance will determine OWN's ultimate fate. She has received pep talks from other media movers and shakers.

"Everybody has told me — Ted Turner has told me, Barry Diller has told me, Lorne Michaels has told me, David Geffen has told me — anybody who's ever worked with a channel, who's ever done anything, has said it takes three to five years," she said, adding, "You have to do the work.... You do not have to pay attention to the criticism."

The initially slight programming lineup is being beefed up, most notably with "Oprah's Next Chapter." The weekly series debuts at 9 p.m. Sunday with Winfrey's visit to the New Hampshire home of Steven Tyler.

—Associated Press

Blackmailer is hired for 'Zahn'

Joe Halderman, the former "48 Hours Mystery" producer who tried to blackmail talk show host David Letterman, has been hired as a producer of Investigation Discovery's "On the Case With Paula Zahn."

Halderman recently joined the staff of the documentary crime series and is not expected to work in the field.

"We are confident that Halderman will make significant contributions to the success of our award-winning investigative newsmagazine," said Scott Weinberg, executive producer of "On the Case."

Halderman was released from jail in September 2010 after serving four months for pleading guilty in a case that put the spotlight on Letterman's affair with a staff member. Halderman admitted he had demanded $2 million in hush money to keep from revealing embarrassing information about the late-night comedian.

—Greg Braxton

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