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Quick Takes

November 11, 2011

Morgan exits 'Talent'

Piers Morgan's talent is apparently not juggling two shows — he announced Wednesday evening on his CNN show that he will not be returning to NBC's "America's Got Talent" when the show comes back next year.

After announcing the news, Morgan later tweeted: "I'm leaving America's Got Talent after 6 wonderful years. Turned out that juggling's harder than it looks, so I'm going to focus on CNN." He followed with: "It's been a blast."

Morgan, 46, has been judging on the NBC talent show since 2006, and he was also a judge on the British version of the show with Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell. But he took on a heavier load back in January after signing on with CNN to replace Larry King.

NBC has not named a replacement for Morgan at the judges table, but insiders say radio talk show host Howard Stern is in talks for the spot.

— Yvonne Villarreal

Gursky photo sale sets record

A 1999 photograph of the Rhine river by German artist Andreas Gursky has sold for $4.3 million in New York City, setting a record for any photograph sold at auction.

Titled "Rhein II," the chromogenic color print face-mounted to acrylic glass had a pre-sale estimate of $2.5 million to $3.5 million.

It sold Tuesday at Christie's. The buyer was not disclosed.

The previous record for any photograph sold at auction was Cindy Sherman's "Untitled," which fetched $3.8 million at Christie's in May.

Gursky's panoramic image of the Rhine is one of an edition of six photographs. Four are in major museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London.

— Associated Press

OCMA hires

a chief curator

The Orange County Museum of Art has announced its hiring of Dan Cameron as chief curator, effective January.

An internationally known curator with roots in New York, Cameron was the founding director of Prospect New Orleans, a citywide art exhibition launched in 2008 that drew critical praise but did not succeed in staying under budget or on a biennial schedule. Previously he had curated the 10th Taipei Biennial, "Dirty Yoga" in 2006 and the 8th Istanbul Biennial, "Poetic Justice," in 2003. From 1995 to 2006, he was senior curator at the New Museum in New York.

Cameron also will be in charge of the museum's California Biennial, which a museum representative confirmed will be held in summer 2013 despite what could be serious competition from a 2012 biennial organized by the Hammer Museum.

— Jori Finkel

Twitter users blitz Kutcher

Ashton Kutcher, star of CBS' "Two and a Half Men," caused a Twitter fury Wednesday night after defending ousted Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.

Kutcher, whose Twitter handle is @aplusk, tweeted: "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste" (the tweet has since been removed from his page).

The response was immense, overwhelming and savage. Shortly thereafter, the TV star confessed he was unaware that the firing came in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal at the school. A Twitter mea culpa quickly ensued.

Kutcher later recanted, writing to his more than 8 million followers: "Didn't have full story. #admitwhenYoumakemistakes"

In response to the negative feedback he received, Kutcher has opted to take a vow of silence on his account until he can find a way to "properly manage" his feed. Adding that he felt "awful" about the error.

— Yvonne Villarreal

L.A. Phil is set

to 'Take a Stand'

Last month, the Los Angeles Philharmonic announced that it's partnering with Bard College in upstate New York and the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass., to launch a musical education initiative to further youth music education across the country, particularly in its most underserved communities.

One of the initiative's key components will be a yearly symposium, "Take a Stand," that will bring arts professionals, musicians and educators together to hear speakers, take part in workshops and interact with students. The inaugural conference will be held Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 in Los Angeles, coinciding with the L.A. Phil's Mahler Project, at which Gustavo Dudamel, the Phil and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela will perform together in concert.

This week, the Phil announced that single-day passes for each day of the symposium will cost $100 and full three-day passes will go for $250. The Phil says the symposium "will focus on driving forward the collective thinking of the El Sistema movement."

— Reed Johnson

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