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Quick Takes

January 21, 2011

LACMA official to leave

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art said Thursday that Melody Kanschat, who has served as president and chief operating officer since 2005, will be stepping down from her position in May.

Kanschat said in a statement that she was leaving the museum "to fully explore" her "own career interests."

The museum said it will implement its leadership transition plan in the next few months, reorganizing its administration under a team that will report to Michael Govan, who is the museum's director and chief executive.

Kanschat has worked in various roles at LACMA for 22 years, including as the museum's executive vice president for administration and external affairs and in the marketing, membership and development divisions.

—David Ng

Dylan said to have book deal

Bob Dylan reportedly has signed a six-book deal with Simon & Schuster for two more volumes of his acclaimed "Chronicles, Vol. 1" autobiography, a book tied to his "Theme Time Radio Hour" program that ran for three years on Sirius XM radio and additional works, according to Crain's New York Business.

A spokeswoman for Simon & Schuster, the publisher of the first installment in the projected multi-volume autobiography, said Thursday that the company had no comment.

Crain's credited the information to "several industry insiders" and said it was the result of work by literary agent Andrew Wylie. No monetary figure was specified in the report, nor were any proposed release dates of new books from Dylan.

—Randy Lewis

Alan Jackson leaves Sony

Alan Jackson and his record label, Sony Music Nashville, are splitting, and his manager says the country music superstar is in negotiations with three record labels to find a new home.

The label announced the split Thursday and the singer with the trademark mustache and deep, rich voice confirmed it with a statement of his own a little later. The partnership started in 1989 when Jackson was the first artist signed to Arista Nashville, now a Sony imprint, and has yielded dozens of No. 1 hits and tens of millions in album sales.

Jackson's manager, Nancy Russell, said Jackson could be close to closing a new record deal and said there are "three options that look really good."

The 52-year-old singer, perhaps best known for his song "Chattahoochee," has made an indelible mark on country music, helping to launch a return to the traditional sound of the genre at a time when it had gone glam in the 1990s. The two-time Country Music Assn. entertainer of the year has had 35 No. 1 hits.

—Associated Press

Into 'Uncharted' new territory

Recording artists who don't get love from radio can now get a Billboard ranking.

The music industry trade magazine and website announced Thursday that it is launching a new chart called Uncharted.

Rankings will be based on a variety of factors, including YouTube clicks, MySpace Music page views and Twitter traffic. The artists don't have to be unsigned, but they must not have appeared on any of Billboard's other charts.

—Associated Press

Gervais says he did no wrong

As host of the Golden Globe Awards, Ricky Gervais took sharp, arguably cruel jabs at targets including Charlie Sheen, Cher, the nominated film "The Tourist" and even the sponsoring Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

Just doing his job, Gervais insists.

"If they didn't want me, they shouldn't have hired me," he said on Piers Morgan's CNN talk show airing Thursday.

"I don't think I did anything wrong," Gervais said. "Those were like gibes at these people, and I'm sure they've got a sense of humor."

—Associated Press

Williams to host a new series

Wendy Williams will host a new series, "Love Triangle," that's a cross between a game show and a talk show.

The series puts Williams in the role of adviser to a guest trying to choose one relationship over another. It's set to debut April 18 on cable's GSN channel.

Last week, it was announced that her syndicated TV show, "The Wendy Williams Show," was renewed for a third season.

—Associated Press


Late-night shift: Hoping to bolster the audience for "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC said Thursday that beginning Feb. 4, the show will start at midnight instead of 12:05 a.m., meaning the news division's "Nightline" will end a few minutes earlier each night.

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