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Quick Takes

February 17, 2012

KFI suspends John, Ken

Controversial talk-show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou have been suspended by KFI-AM (640) for making what the station called "insensitive and inappropriate comments" about the late Whitney Houston, including calling her a "crack 'ho."

The comments came this week during a discussion of Houston's reported drug use.

"KFI AM 640 does not condone, support or tolerate statements of this kind," said a statement posted Thursday on the station's website.

The popular duo, heard weekdays from 3 to 7 p.m., will return Feb. 27, KFI said. Executives confirmed it is the first time Kobylt and Chiampou have been suspended since joining the station in 1992.

In a statement released by KFI, Kobylt said, "We made a mistake, and we accept the station's decision. We used language that was inappropriate, and we sincerely apologize to our listeners and to the family of Ms. Houston."

The outspoken hosts have ignited anger and protests by listeners many times in the past, most recently for their views on illegal immigration.

—Greg Braxton

Itinerary set for Houston funeral

Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder will sing Saturday at the private funeral of Whitney Houston.

Houston's longtime musical mentor, Clive Davis, will speak at the event, and the eulogy will be given by gospel singer and longtime family friend Marvin Winans.

The singer's funeral, to be held at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., the place she began her singing career as a child, will be streamed live on the Internet, and the stream will be available via satellite for the TV networks. It begins at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

Houston, 48, died Feb. 11 at a hotel in Beverly Hills.

—Associated Press

'Colbert Report' in sudden reruns

Fans of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" got unexpected bad news this week when the show unexpectedly went into reruns Wednesday.

In a statement Thursday, the network said that "due to unforeseen circumstances," the show would air repeats on Wednesday and Thursday.

Spokesmen for Colbert and Comedy Central declined to provide an explanation. The Wall Street Journal reported that Colbert had a family emergency.

—Patrick Kevin Day

A 'Spider-Man' suit nears end

The complex legal battle between Julie Taymor and producers of the Broadway musical "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" took a significant step toward resolution Thursday, but many legal issues remain unresolved.

The producers of "Spider-Man" announced that they had reached a settlement in their arbitration with the union that represents Taymor, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

As part of the settlement, the producers said they have agreed to pay Taymor full royalties for her services as director of the New York production. The settlement also provides for other payments to Taymor as a "collaborator" when the show's New York production recoups its investment.

Taymor was booted from "Spider-Man" in early 2011 after negative media coverage and technical mishaps during the musical's preview period.

She was replaced by Philip William McKinley, though she retains credits on the show.

Thursday's settlement pertains only to the union's arbitration with "Spider-Man's" producers, Michael Cohl and Jeremiah Harris. Still pending is the lawsuit Taymor filed in federal court against the producers over profits she says are due her as co-writer of the original project, which prompted a countersuit from them.

—David Ng

Amanda Knox has a book deal

Amanda Knox, the young exchange student whose conviction in Italy and eventual acquittal on murder charges made headlines worldwide, has a book deal with HarperCollins to tell her story.

The 24-year-old Seattle resident, imprisoned for four years in Perugia, Italy, has not publicly discussed her ordeal beyond a brief expression of gratitude upon her release last October.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but an official with knowledge of the negotiations said the deal was worth $4 million.

—Associated Press

Larry King, CNN part ways

CNN and Larry King have gone their separate ways.

Though King gave up his daily prime-time talk show on CNN in December 2010, he still had a deal for several specials. The last of those aired in December.

The decision by CNN to discontinue King's specials brings to an end a relationship that lasted more than 25 years.

—Joe Flint

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