Through The Wire: Armys Leader Back in Saddle

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Soldiers in 'Arnie's Army,' be of good cheer. ArnoldPalmer, golf legend and Golf Channel chairman, revealed on a recent Golf Talk Livethat he feels he's 'pretty well recovered' from a bout of prostate cancer. 'Thedoctors assured me if I did my thing and exercised, that my strength would come back,and I feel like it has,' he said. The 68-year-old, who made number 12 in Forbesmagazine's highest-paid athletes list (thanks to $16 million in endorsement cash lastyear), says he still feels a little bad about how his diehard fans treated upstart JackNicklaus back in the early days. For one thing, if the fans hadn't been so hard on theGolden Bear, 'maybe he wouldn't have played as hard as he did against me!'

The fourth edition of Cowen & Co. media analyst HaroldVogel's hardcover tome, Entertainment Industry Economics, recently arrived inbookstores. Vogel assigns it as a text for a Columbia University course, but CambridgeUniversity Press also has gotten it into quite a few mainstream outlets, including Barnes& Noble and Borders. The biggest change since the third edition in 1994: That onehad no reference to the Internet. Since the first edition in 1985, the cable chapterhas grown, video games have declined and the movie financing explainer has changed quite abit, Vogel says. Our favorite chapter is on gaming and wagering, where Hal explains therules to baccarat (Neuf, a la banc!) and craps.

Warning to cities and developers: Don't give property aname with 'South Park' in it. Overzealous fans of Comedy Central's sizzling South Park series-- and we know of no other type -- are grabbing an odd type of souvenir at an alarmingrate in the otherwise quiet hamlet of Holmdel, N.J. The street sign from the town'sSouth Park Court has disappeared at least six times, according to public worksemployee Dennis DeBeVoise. Nothing has stopped the vandals -- not even cementing the polein the ground.

Closing quips: EchoStar Communications Corp. chairmanCharles Ergen, asked at the Consumer Electronics Show about his relationship witherstwhile partner and News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch: 'Let's just say I didn't geta Christmas card from him.' ... Former Nick at Nite general manager Richard Cronin,embroiled in a court battle over his departure from MTV Networks, hasn't lost his sense ofhumor. During a break in court, he joked that he was disappointed the sessions weren'tbeing covered on Court TV ... TNT president Brad Siegel, already on the high road afterTNT passed on exorbitant NFL rights last week, noted that TNT was also the beneficiary ofNBC's $13-million-per-episode ER renewal. TNT bought the off-network rights to thedrama at what now looks like a bargain: around $750,000 per episode. How does the NBC dealaffect TNT's? 'It doesn't. We get more episodes.'


-- By Kent Gibbons from bureau reports.

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