First Mike Tyson, then Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone ...and now, talk-show host Jay Leno will throw his hat into the ring of professional PPVwrestling. Leno will appear on World Championship Wrestling's Aug. 8 Road Wildevent. It's unclear what role Leno will play in the show, but sources close to WCWsay the late-night host will enter the ring in some capacity. The event, which will retailfor $29.95, will also feature a concert by country-music superstar Travis Tritt.
Roy Jones Jr. may have finally become the boxingmega-personality that Time Warner Sports envisioned when they signed him to a multifightdeal several years ago. Considered by boxing observers to be the best pound-for-poundfighter in the sport, the laid-back Jones has been unable to capture the all-importantcasual boxing fans' attention, which is necessary to generate millions of PPV buys. Butjudging from the 5,000 crazed fans that Jones drew recently in New York during an outdoorworkout, and the impressive 11.6 rating that he garnered July 18 for his fight againstLou Del Valle on HBO, he might be ready for PPV primetime. Time Warner execs say Jones mayenter the PPV ring in the near future -- particularly if he moves up to the more lucrativeheavyweight division.
Only in New York ... So there's Mark Braff, whose firmhandles PR for Fox Family Channel's ad-sales division, in a routine early morningmeeting last Tuesday on the 37th floor of Fox Family's building in Times Square, whensuddenly, there's a very loud crash outside. Running to the window, Braff and thecable crew see the elevator tower from a 48-story building under construction comecrashing down, raining what one New York tabloid called a "shower of steel"onto the streets below. One section of steel plunged through the roof of a hotel nextdoor, killing an elderly woman. Braff said it was a "miracle" that only oneperson was killed, and it was "really frightening" to realize that he had walkedalong that block on West 43rd Street many times. Some Fox Family salespeople who had goneout on a coffee break weren't allowed to re-enter the building, which was evacuatedand closed.
HBO advised employees at its headquarters at 43rd Streetand Sixth Avenue to go home Tuesday, and it generally told people to stay home for therest of the week, except for those doing "essential work," a spokesman said. Butthanks to the modern wonders of e-mail and voice mail, "we were able to work aroundit," he added.
Viacom's corporate headquarters on 44th Street andBroadway remained open, although nearby streets were closed to traffic.
With his last, greatest deal masterminded and on its way,TCI chairman and CEO John Malone isn't wasting any time navigating toward, shallwe say, smoother seas. Sources tell The Wire that Malone jetted to Norway last week toexamine a potential addition to his No. 1 hobby: sailing. Details about the new schoonerwere unavailable, nor was any firm confirmation from TCI's corporate PR staff aboutMalone's new vessel. "He's out of the office on personal leave: That'sall I know," said a bemused LaRae Marsik, corporate spokeswoman for the MSO.
By Charles Paikert, from bureau reports.