News

A Grammy in Oscars Future?

10/22/2000 8:00 PM Eastern

Former welterweight boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya has proven that he packs as much of a knockout punch in the recording studio as he does on pay-per-view. His debut single,
Ven A Mi
,is currently at the top ofBillboard's Hot Latin Tracks chart for the week ending Oct. 28.
His self-titled debut album is also No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, which lists the best-selling titles by new and developing artists. Given his musical success, the wire thinks De La Hoya should consider performing a live concert as the undercard attraction for his next fight.

When he was Federal Communications Commission chairman, Reed Hundt had three words for AT & T Corp. when it wanted to buy SBC Communications Inc.: Forget about it. Today, Hundt is a stock-options millionairewho serves on the board of NorthPoint Communications, a DSL provider that needs FCC approval to merge with one of its main rivals: Verizon Communications.
Maybe Hundt's personal stake in a merger explains the new attitude he expressed in a recent interview with Web site Techcentralstation.com. Asked about the WorldCom Inc.-Sprint Corp. merger, which the Justice Department killed, he said: "That should have been pronounced OK." Does the AOL-Time Warner merger, under intense review by the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission, threaten competition? Hundt: "No, not at all, not one bit," adding that the deal should have been approved long ago. Hundt's former chief of staff, Blair Levin, is on the payroll of Tribal Voice and other instant-messaging companies lobbying to block the merger until AOL opens up its instant-messaging network to outsiders. Hundt, by contrast, said the merger with Time Warner "does not make AOL's instant messaging more or less pro-competitive." Responding to an e-mail message about his split with his old boss, Levin said: "On some very rare occasions, he is wrong-honorable, but wrong."

Nothing seemed out of place at the DirecTV Interactive press conference in New York last week, as four execs from Wink Communications Corp., Thomson Multimedia and DirecTV Inc. answered questions from tech hacks on topics like interactive advertising and bandwidth constraints. But their jaws hit the floor when one man-sitting directly behind a Wire correspondent-asked the four Caucasian executives why there weren't any minorities at the podium.
Wink CEO Maggie Wilderotter recovered from the shocker by pointing out that she is indeed a woman. DirecTV senior VP Brad Beale managed to close the topic with his response. "You'd have to ask our president, who is black,"

said Beale, referring to new DirecTV chief Odie Donald. The correspondent turned around after the conference ended to ask the questioner who he was and what paper he worked for. It turns out that the man, who would only offer his first name, Ashok, wasn't a reporter. Ashok said he worked for a new interactive-TV company (which he wouldn't name). We're guessing that he's not looking to do business with Wink or DirecTV.

The Golf Channel plans a Nov. 1 primetime special on the making of DreamWorks SKG'sThe Legend of Bagger Vance, just before the theatrical's Nov. 3 premiere. In the meantime, it'srunning a tie-in sweepstakes withBagger Vancemovie posters, bag tags and CD soundtracks as prizes; its Web site also is offering aBagger Vancescreen saver and movie preview.The reason: the Robert Redford-directed movie is about a golfer (Matt Damon) who's emotionally damaged by World War I until he gets great advice from his mysterious caddy, Bagger Vance (Will Smith). That tie-in is a big step up from 1996, when the network got a cameo in the last big golf movie-Warner Bros.'Tin Cup,starring Kevin Costner as a golf hustler.

Though Starz Encore Group chairman and CEO John Sie may be an innovator when it comes to the pay-TV movie business, his son James has shown that he's very adept as a stage actor.The younger Sie recently finished a stint as lead actor in a two-person, off-Broadway play,Straight as a Line.Sie played an AIDS-stricken young man who seeks to patch up his relationship with his estranged mother prior to his death. Sie's performance in the play, which ended its run last Sunday (Oct. 22), received generally positive reviews.

Earlier this month, aUSA Todayreview of Get Carter, the new Sylvester Stallone gangster flick from Warner Bros., observed: "The original Carter
[starring Michael Caine in 1970] shows up regularly on Turner Classic Movies, butthis version might be more appropriate for The Weather Channel.
" That's because cinematographer Maurio Fiore "exploits Seattle's reputation as a city with lots of rain, " the review explained. The Wire believes that the movie could also be described as a washout, as it generated just $6.6 million at the box office in its opening weekend.

October
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