Top Story: Original MTV VJ ‘J.J.’ Jackson Dies
John ‘J.J.’ Jackson, one of the first MTV on-air personalities, died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack while driving home from dinner in Los Angeles, The Associated Press reports. He was 62. Jackson, a longtime radio station disc jockey, first gained prominence while working at WBCN in Boston in the late 1960s, then moved to Los Angeles in 1971 where he took on the afternoon radio slot at KLOS. He later left for New York and MTV, where he worked for the cable music network in its first 5 formative years. Jackson later returned to radio in Los Angeles and most recently, was hosting an afternoon slot at L.A.’s KTWV. “He was a big part of the channel’s success and we are sure he is in the music section of heaven, with lots of his friends and heroes,” MTV said in statement. “He will be greatly missed.”
Zeta-Jones Wants Her Privacy
Catherine Zeta-Jones lost the final round Thursday in her bid to stop a businessman from running his information technology business from a base close to the actress’s new luxury home in her Welsh hometown. According to the AP, Zeta-Jones‘ parents, Dai and Pat Jones, wrote to the council to express extreme “concern and alarm” about Gywnn’s business, adding that visits by staff members working for the IT firm would jeopardize their privacy. But Gwynn pointed out that his property generates far less interest than the Zeta-Jones mansion, which has already attracted throngs of tourists flocking to see the property the local celebrity and her husband Michael Douglas will call home on future visits to United Kingdom principality. Swansea Councilor Des Thomas, meanwhile, pointed out that the Zeta-Jones mansion was close to a cricket club and other public facilities, and said the family should have built their home in the more secluded town of Llandeilo if privacy was a concern.
Trumps Wants To Trademark “Your Fired!”
Real-estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump is seeking to trademark the phrase “You’re fired!” According to Reuters, Trump has filed a trademark application for the phrase, which he uses when dismissing contestants on NBC’s The Apprentice. Trump said he intended to display “You’re Fired” on games and casino services, and “You’re Fired! Donald J. Trump” on clothing. But Trump might have competition: According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Web site, three other applications for “You’re fired” have been filed.
The Apprentice‘s Omarosa Claims Racism
Speaking of being “fired,” The Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, to whom The Donald directed the very phrase he wants to patent, is negotiating a book deal about her experience on the show, the AP reports. Manigault-Stallworth, a former political consultant, has since said her experience showed the problems of racism in corporate America. After her “firing,” the 30-year-old made claims that former contestant Ereka Vetrini had called her the “n-word”–allegations vehemently denied by Vetrini, executive producers Mark Burnett and Trump. “Believe me, I know what I experienced,” Manigault-Stallworth said in an interview with the AP. “Those women called me every name in the book on-camera. Imagine what they did off-camera. Imagine what they would say in the corridors.”
Janet Jackson To Visit Dave Letterman
CBS announced Thursday that Janet Jackson will visit the The Late Show With David Letterman on Mar. 29 in what will mark her first network television interview since the singer’s breast-baring antics at the Super Bowl halftime show. Jackson is launching a whirlwind publicity tour promoting her new album, Damita Jo. She will perform on ABC News’ Good Morning America March 31, will appear on Fox’s On Air With Ryan Seacrest April 2 and is scheduled to host NBC’s Saturday Night Live April 10. The singer will also be musical guest.
Affleck To Co-Host Live With Regis and Kelly
Ben Affleck will co-host with Regis Philbin on the syndicated morning talk show Live With Regis and Kelly Monday. The actor will be filling in for Kelly Ripa, who’s on vacation. According to AP Radio, Affleck, who stars in the upcoming Kevin Smith drama Jersey Girl, recently told reporters that what happened to him and former fiancée Jennifer Lopez was like many of his worst fears coming true all at once. “What if something bad happens? What if everybody hates my movie? What if I have some public embarrassments in my personal life? Then it all happens in a month, you know, and it turns out like, ‘All right, well, it’s not the end of the world.'”
Comedy Central Re-Ups Jon Stewart Through 2008
Comedy Central announced Thursday it has re-upped Jon Stewart‘s Daily Show for four more years. “A lot of people like to get out when their show’s still going well,” said Stewart, who stars and serves as an executive producer and writer on the mock newscast. “This gives me the opportunity to beat this thing into the ground.” The show, which has won several Emmys and a Peabody Award for its yearlong “Indecision 2000” political coverage, premiered in 1996 with host Craig Kilborn. Stewart took over the program in January 1999. This year, the show’s viewership has averaged an all-time high of 1 million for the weeknight 11 p.m. EST slot.
Morgan Freeman To Drive Indy Pace Car
Morgan Freeman, who played the gentle chauffeur opposite Jessica Tandy in the 1989 film Driving Miss Daisy, was selected Wednesday to drive the Chevrolet Corvette pace car May 30 at the start of the Indianapolis 500, the AP reports. Freeman, 66, will lead the starting field on the parade and pace laps at the start of the race. “Right next to acting, my childhood dream was to drive on a Speedway track,” Freeman said. “I’m thrilled to just be an observer, but especially thrilled to be a part of the racing logs as the pace car driver for the Indianapolis 500 this year.” Other celebrity pace car drivers in recent years include Jay Leno, Anthony Edwards, Jim Caviezel and model Elaine Irwin-Mellencamp, wife of rock musician John Mellencamp.
Role Call: Hounsou and Silverstone Join Beauty Shop