CNN shuffles anchors
Seeking to bolster its daytime lineup, CNN is making another anchor switch for the new year. The network is giving chief business correspondent Ali Velshi his own daily show from 10 a.m. to noon, a time slot currently anchored by Kyra Phillips, who will take over the 6 to 8 a.m. slot. Heidi Collins, who had been anchoring “CNN Newsroom” during that time, is leaving the network after nearly eight years.
Velshi, a veteran financial reporter, already hosts “Your $$$$$,” a weekend business round-table shown on the network, as well as “The Ali Velshi Show” on CNN Radio. His new show, debuting Jan. 18, will be more broadly focused and not solely about the day’s business headlines. But Velshi said he plans to apply the same approach he’s taken to financial news: breaking down complicated issues so the audience can better grasp their real-life implications.
-- Matea Gold
Choosing ' Lost’ over Obama
These fans would truly be lost without their favorite TV show -- and they’re taking their case to the top.
Fans of the ABC series about marooned plane crash survivors fear President Obama will give his State of the Union address on Feb. 2.
That’s the same day as the three-hour premiere of the final season of “Lost.”
The Facebook group “Americans Against the State of the Union on the Same Night as LOST” asks “When will it end?” It notes that Obama already bumped “A Charlie Brown Christmas” for his Afghanistan speech in some markets.
The White House isn’t saying when Obama will speak. An ABC spokesman wouldn’t say whether the network would consider moving the premiere.
-- associated press
Conductor says he has cancer
Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa said Thursday that he has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and will cancel all his concerts for six months to receive treatment.
Ozawa, an icon in the classical music world, said the cancer was spotted after a regular medical checkup late last year.
“I am perfectly fine right now. I have no problems drinking or eating,” the 74-year-old maestro said at a news conference in Tokyo. A doctor who accompanied Ozawa said the cancer is in an early stage.
“I will abide by the doctors’ advice. I will be back within six months,” a smiling Ozawa said.
He will cancel all his concerts from January to June, during which his office said there are around 30 concerts at home and abroad scheduled.
Ozawa is chief conductor of the Vienna State Opera. He took the post in 2002, and his tenure is set to expire in June.
-- associated press
Filmmaker is jailed in China
A Chinese court has jailed a Tibetan filmmaker for six years after he made a documentary in which ordinary Tibetans praised the Dalai Lama and complained about how their culture had been trampled on, supporters said.
The film, “Leaving Fear Behind,” features a series of interviews with Tibetans who talk about how they still love their exiled spiritual leader and think the Beijing Olympics did little to improve their lives.
Dhondup Wangchen and his monk friend, Golog Jigme, were detained shortly after finishing the film but managed to smuggle tapes out of the country.
Russian pianist gets Gilmore
One of the most prestigious honors in the classical music field, the Gilmore Artist Award, is handed out every four years to a pianist who has the potential to sustain an international career. On Thursday, it was announced that Russian pianist Kirill Gerstein is the latest recipient of the prize.
Gerstein will receive $300,000 in support of his musical and career goals over the next four years, according to the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, which has organized the award since 1989.
Gerstein joins an elite roster of previous recipients of the Gilmore Artist Award, including Ingrid Fliter (2006), Piotr Anderszewski (2002), Leif Ove Andsnes (1998), Ralf Gothóni (1994) and David Owen Norris (1991).
On Saturday, Gerstein will perform in Santa Monica, accompanying cellist Steven Isserlis, as part of the Maestro Foundation’s chamber series. The performance is invitation-only.
Gerstein appeared with the L.A. Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in May performing Franz Liszt’s Piano Concert No. 2. Among Gerstein’s other accolades are a first prize at the 2001 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv and the Gilmore Young Artist Award, which he was awarded in 2002.
“I’m quite overwhelmed by the myriad of projects that this award could make possible,” the pianist said in a statement.
-- David Ng and Mark Swed
Veteran production designer John Shaffner has been reelected to a second two-year term as chief of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.