NBC Sports is hiring Paul Azinger as its lead golf analyst with hopes he can deliver his own brand of sharp, candid observations that made Johnny Miller such a strong presence in the broadcast booth for three decades.
Miller's last tournament will be the Waste Management Phoenix Open the first weekend in February.
Azinger already has a steady voice in golf from 10 years at ABC and ESPN, and the last three years at Fox Sports for its USGA events. In a unique arrangement by today's standards, NBC Sports will allow Azinger to retain his role at Fox for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women's Open.
"Everyone says I've got big shoes to fill," Azinger said. "I'm not trying to fill anybody's shoes. The challenge is to be yourself. The action is the action. I don't mind being blunt. It doesn't have to be derogatory."
Azinger turns 59 in January, and he will keep plenty busy.
Miller reduced his schedule in recent years and typically worked only weekends for NBC. Azinger, the 1993 PGA Champion and winning Ryder Cup captain in 2008, is expected to do four days of tournament coverage on Golf Channel and NBC, along with contributing to "Live from the Masters" on Golf Channel along Mike Tirico, documentary projects for Golf Channel and some instructional content.
And with the Fox arrangement, he figures to be among the most prominent voices from some of golf's biggest events.
Nick Faldo is the lead analyst for CBS Sports, which has the Masters and PGA Championship and the majority of network coverage of the PGA Tour with 17 other events. Azinger will have the U.S. Open and British Open, two World Golf Championships (Mexico and Match Play), The Players Championship along with the rest of the Florida swing leading up to the Masters, the final two FedEx Cup playoff events, the Ryder Cup every other year and the Olympics every four years.
Azinger called it the "role of a lifetime."
"My wife always said I was good at two things — playing golf and flapping your gums," Azinger said.
Azinger made his broadcasting debut with NBC Sports and golf producer Tommy Roy in 1995 when he was recovering from cancer in his left shoulder and helped out the NBC broadcast of the 1995 Ryder Cup at Oak Hill.
During highlights of his 1993 match against Nick Faldo that ended in a draw, Azinger quipped, "I had cancer and he still couldn't beat me."
Azinger and Faldo, opposing captains in 2008 at Valhalla, were part of a successful experiment when Mark Loomis picked them to be dual analysts in the 18th tower for ABC in 2005. ABC was not part of the tour's network coverage under the next TV contract, and Azinger mostly did the British Open for ESPN.
Fox hired him in 2016 to replace Greg Norman as lead analyst for the U.S. Open.
And now he takes over for Miller, who became famous for saying what he thought without a filter, even if it was offensive to the players.
"For nearly three decades, fans tuning into NBC Sports' golf coverage have been accustomed to a lead analyst that told it like it was, and that mantra will continue with Paul Azinger," said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content for Golf Channel. "Following Johnny Miller is a tall order. However, we're confident in Paul's ability to serve our viewers with candor and sharp insight."
Roy described Azinger as "one of the most perceptive minds in golf."
"His innate ability to dissect the action in front of him and convey it to the viewer in such a concise, assured manner is what we value most across our tournament broadcast team," Roy said.
Miller was so good for so long in the booth that a younger generation of viewers had reason to overlook his Hall of Fame career if not for Miller reminding them. He was the first player to shoot 63 in the final round to win a major (1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont) and he won the 1976 British Open among his 25 victories on the PGA Tour.
Azinger had 12 wins on the PGA Tour, including the 1993 PGA Championship that he won in a playoff over Norman. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma later that year, but after intensive treatment with radiation and chemotherapy, returned to win the Sony Open in 2000 and play in the 2002 Ryder Cup.
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Norway's prime minister says World War II saboteur Joachim Roenneberg, who headed the four-man team that blew up a plant producing heavy water which Nazi Germany could have used to produce nuclear weapons, is dead at 99.
Prime Minister Erna Solberg says Roenneberg was "one of our finest resistance fighters" whose "courage contributed to what has been referred to as the most successful sabotage campaign" in Norway.
Roenneberg, then 23, was tapped by the SOE — Britain's war-time intelligence gathering and sabotage unit — to destroy key parts of the heavily guarded plant in southern Norway in February 1943.
The operation — during which not a single shot was fired — has been recounted in books, documentaries, films and TV series.
Solberg wrote Sunday on Facebook hours after Roenneberg's death.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex began their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific on Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.
Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration and a global celebrity.
His unique status is reflected in an upcoming auction of some of the late physicist's possessions: It includes complex scientific papers, one of the world's most iconic wheelchairs and a script from "The Simpsons."
The online sale announced Monday by auctioneer Christie's features 22 items from Hawking, including his doctoral thesis on the origins of the universe, some of his many awards, and scientific papers such as "Spectrum of Wormholes" and "Fundamental Breakdown of Physics in Gravitational Collapse."
Thomas Venning, head of books and manuscripts at Christie's, said the papers "trace the development of his thought — this brilliant, electrifying intelligence."
"You can see each advance as he produced it and introduced it to the scientific community," Venning said.
Of course, Hawking's fame rests only partly on his scientific status as the cosmologist who put black holes on the map.
Diagnosed with motor neuron disease at 22 and given just a few years to live, he survived for decades, dying in March at 76.
The auction includes one of five existing copies of Hawking's 1965 Cambridge University Ph.D. thesis, "Properties of Expanding Universes," which carries an estimated price of 100,000 pounds to 150,000 pounds ($130,000 to $195,000).
Venning said the thesis, signed by Hawking in handwriting made shaky by his illness, is both a key document in the physicist's scientific evolution and a glimpse into his personal story.
"He was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) just as he arrived in Cambridge to begin his Ph.D. studies," Venning said. "He gave up his studies for a time because he was so despondent.
The thesis "was the fruit of him reapplying himself to his scientific work," Venning said, and Hawking "kept it beside him for the rest of his life."
The disease eventually left Hawking almost completely paralyzed. He communicated through a voice-generating computer and moved in a series of high-tech wheelchairs. One is included in the sale, with an estimated price of 10,000 pounds to 15,000 pounds ($13,000 to $19,500). Proceeds from its sale will go to two charities, the Stephen Hawking Foundation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
Venning said the wheelchair became a symbol not just of disability but of Hawking's "puckish sense of humor." He once ran over Prince Charles' toes — and reportedly joked that he wished he had done the same to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — and appeared in a "Monty Python" skit running down fellow physicist Brian Cox.
Venning said Hawking "very much thought of himself as a scientist first and a popular communicator second," but accepted and even enjoyed his celebrity status. He appeared several times on animated comedy show "The Simpsons" and kept a figurine of himself from the show in his office.
The sale includes a script from one of Hawking's "Simpson's" appearances, a copy of his best-seller "A Brief History of Time" signed with a thumbprint and a personalized bomber jacket that he wore in a documentary.
Hawking's daughter Lucy said the sale gave "admirers of his work the chance to acquire a memento of our father's extraordinary life in the shape of a small selection of evocative and fascinating items."
Hawking's children hope to preserve his scientific archive for the nation. Christie's is handling negotiations to hand it over to British authorities in lieu of inheritance tax.
The items — part of a science sale that includes papers by Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein — will be on display in London for several days from Oct. 30. The auction is open for bids between Oct. 31 and Nov. 8.
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After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television characters to her name — Elaine Benes of "Seinfeld" and foul-mouthed Vice-President Selina Meyer — Julia Louis-Dreyfus has been honored with the Mark Twain Prize for lifetime achievement in comedy.
On Sunday night at Washington's Kennedy Center, the 57-year-old actress received a stream of testimonials from celebrities including Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert and 2010 Mark Twain recipient Tina Fey, touching on the multiple aspects of her career.
"We both started comedy in Chicago," said Fey, paying tribute by tracking the similarities between their lives.
"We both moved on to 'Saturday Night Live.' We both lost our virginity to Brad Hall," referring to Louis-Dreyfus' husband and former SNL cast mate, sitting next to the honoree. Fey praised the "secret precision" of her comedy and her willingness to make her Seinfeld character so flawed.
"Julia let Elaine be selfish and petty and sarcastic and a terrible, terrible dancer," Fey said. "Julia's never been afraid to be unlikable -- not on screen and not in person."
Louis-Dreyfus is the 21st Mark Twain recipient, joining a list that includes Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Carol Burnett. Bill Cosby, the winner in 2009, had his award rescinded earlier this year after he was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault.
During last year's ceremony to honor David Letterman, Cosby's name was never mentioned. But this year, two of the performers felt comfortable making Cosby jokes. Late night host Stephen Colbert displayed a sign proclaiming, "167 days since the last Un-Twaining."
With his fingers crossed, he told Louis-Dreyfus, "I think you'll be OK."
Later Keegan-Michael Key come onstage, dressed as Mark Twain himself and proceeded to roast many of the previous award recipients. When a picture of Cosby was briefly shown, Michael-Key quickly moved things along and said, "It's OK, he's not watching," then added that he doubted PBS was a popular channel "in the penitentiary."
Seinfeld, while on the red carpet before the ceremony, recalled first meeting Louis-Dreyfus during an informal audition. His iconic sitcom, "Seinfeld," was still in the planning stages and producer Larry David knew Louis-Dreyfus from their time together on "Saturday Night Live."
"We had just two short pages of script, and we sat down to read the dialogue together," Seinfeld said. "As soon as she opened her mouth, I knew she was the one."
Seinfeld also credited Louis-Dreyfus for having the confidence and strength of personality to hold her own on what he called "a very male show."
That confidence was evident very early for Louis-Dreyfus, who said she knew as a young child that she had a gift for comedy.
"The first time I really knew was when I stuffed raisins in my nose and my mother laughed. I ended up in the emergency room because they wouldn't come out!" Louis-Dreyfus said before the ceremony.
Comedian Kumail Nanjiani grew up in Pakistan and never saw an episode of "Seinfeld" until he immigrated to the U.S as an adult.
"But I became a huge fan as soon as I moved here," he said.
The co-writer of the movie "The Big Sick" recalled her iconic, slightly convulsive "Elaine Benes dance" on the show, which he credits to Louis-Dreyfus' gift for physical comedy.
"There are some comedians who think physical comedy is beneath them," he said. "But she was just fearless and ego-less."
At the end of the night, Louis-Dreyfus accepted her award with an extended comedic bit and a few shots at new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The veteran comedic actress first drew laughs by repeatedly referencing her true life's ambition to be a respected dramatic actress_stopping in mid-speech to deliver a monologue from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice."
A native of the Washington suburbs in Maryland, Louis-Dreyfus is a graduate of the elite Holton-Arms school, alma mater of Christine Blasey Ford, who accused Kavanaugh of assault.
Louis-Dreyfus make a veiled but unmistakable reference to Ford's testimony_framing it around her performance in high school of the play "Serendipity."
"I can remember every single aspect of that play that night, so much so that I would testify under oath about it," she said, to a round of laughter and applause. "But I can't remember who drove me there or who drove me home."
Louis-Dreyfus emerged from Chicago's famed Second City comedy troupe before joining the cast of "Saturday Night Live." After her nine-year run on "Seinfeld," her turn as Vice President Selina Meyer on "Veep" earned her six consecutive Emmy Awards.
The upcoming seventh and final season of "Veep" was delayed as Louis-Dreyfus received treatment for breast cancer. That season is currently in production.
PBS will air the Twain event on Nov. 19.
Geoffrey Rush told the judge hearing his defamation case on Monday he felt distraught and as though his head was filled with lead on seeing a newspaper's publication of allegations he had behaved inappropriately toward a female co-star.
The actor is suing the publishers of Sydney's Daily Telegraph newspaper and its journalist Jonathon Moran over the articles published last year. He denies all the allegations, but the journalists are pleading truth in their defense.
Documents presented in court by the defense say the allegations concern Rush's behavior toward his co-star Eryn Jean Norvill during a Sydney Theatre Company production of "King Lear" in 2015 and 2016.
The documents allege Rush made lewd gestures in her direction, simulated fondling and groping her breasts, and regularly made comments or jokes about her involving sexual innuendo.
He was also accused of touching her lower back under her shirt when they were backstage, and tracing his hand down her torso and across the side of her breast during a scene in which he was carrying her.
Rush entered Sydney's Federal Court alongside his wife Jane Menelaus for the start of the judge-only hearing.
Later, he testified he was devastated when he saw the Telegraph's first article last November — beside a headline of "King Leer" — while his wife and adult son were home.
"I could see how distressed they were, which created a great deal of hurt for me," Rush told the court.
"I felt as though someone had poured lead into my head. I went into a kind of 'This can't be happening.'"
The actor said when the paper ran its second article he felt "distraught by the way the story was running off the rails and didn't seem to reflect anything I experienced."
"My blood ran cold and I went to jelly as I thought this is the beginning of a box set, this story is going to continue and it's wilder than you think, dear reader," Rush said.
Rush's lawyer Bruce McClintock told the hearing his client was "a national living treasure."
"As well as giving pleasure to millions, his reputation was stellar, it could not have been higher. No scandal attached to his name," McClintock said.
That changed once the newspaper chose to publish, the lawyer said in his opening remarks, saying the cumulative effect of the two Telegraph articles, and an advertising poster highlighting them, was to "smash and destroy my client's reputation."
He accused Moran of including "straight-out, bald-faced" lies in his reporting. Defense barrister Tom Blackburn later said this was nothing more than a submission.
"It's not based on any evidence because no evidence has been heard," Blackburn said.
The Telegraph intends to use Norvill's sworn statement in its defense and Norvill is expected to testify.
The defense claims Rush knew he did not have Norvill's consent and knew that on the occasions the behavior occurred in front of an audience, she could do nothing to prevent it.
Rush also told the court the articles didn't relate to the "very strenuous but very cheerful" experience he had working on the play, and that as far as he was concerned, he and Norvill had enjoyed a "very sparky, congenial rapport."
The hearing, scheduled to last 13 days, continues Tuesday with Rush expected to continue giving evidence.
Rush, 67, won the best actor Oscar in 1996 for his portrayal of pianist David Helfgott in "Shine" and was nominated for roles in "Shakespeare In Love," ''Quills" and "The Kings Speech." He's also famed for his portrayal of Captain Barbossa in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films.
He received his nation's highest civilian honor in 2014, the Companion of the Order of Australia for service to the arts.
Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and fiddler Johnny Gimble are the newest members of the Country Music Hall of Fame.
The three artists were inducted Sunday at the Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, in a ceremony featuring performances from Garth Brooks, Chris Stapleton, Connie Smith and Dierks Bentley.
It was a night devoted mostly to musicianship in the form of Skaggs, who started his career as a child prodigy on mandolin, and Gimble, who played Western swing fiddle on numerous iconic country records. West was recognized as a trailblazing female singer who helped many others succeed in Nashville.
Fellow Hall of Famer Brenda Lee invited several women on stage to help induct West, including Trisha Yearwood and Emmylou Harris.
"We've waited a long time for this to happen," Lee said.
West was the first woman to receive a Grammy for best female country performance in 1965 for her song "Here Comes My Baby." The McMinnville, Tennessee-born singer was best known for hits like "Country Sunshine," which became a popular advertising jingle for Coca-Cola, and her duets with Kenny Rogers, including "Every Time Two Fools Collide."
West and Rogers won two CMA Awards for duo of the year in the 1970s. She was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was on her way to a performance there when she was injured in a car wreck in 1991. She later died of her injuries at the age of 58.
The Cordell, Kentucky-born Skaggs first played Bill Monroe's famed and priceless Gibson F-5 mandolin when Skaggs was just 6 years old. He wowed audiences as a child on a syndicated television show hosted by bluegrass legends Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.
Along with Keith Whitley, he learned under the tutelage of bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley. He became a country music star in the 1980s, with several No. 1 hits that mixed his bluegrass influences with Telecasters and steel guitars, including "Heartbroke" ''Highway 40 Blues" and "Country Boy."
He was named entertainer of the year at the CMA Awards in 1985. By the '90s he rededicated himself to bluegrass through his band, Kentucky Thunder, and has earned more than a dozen Grammy Awards.
Skaggs said that he learned about bluegrass from the originators of the genre, artists like Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs and Stanley.
"I am thankful to be a carrier of that original seed," Skaggs said.
In a rare moment, Skaggs was reunited with Monroe's mandolin, an instrument more than 90 years old that is normally kept under glass at the museum. Skaggs kissed the mandolin and played "Will the Circle Be Unbroken."
Gimble, of Tyler, Texas, was a celebrated sideman who played with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the 1950s before coming to Nashville to become an in-demand studio musician. He was a consider a superpicker by Chet Akins, played in Willie Nelson's touring band and played on records for George Strait, Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty and many more. He was named instrumentalist of the year five times at the CMA Awards and was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994. He died in 2015 at the age of 88.
His widow, Barbara Gimble, said it was "a shock and a surprise that they remembered Johnny."
Haruki Murakami says he enjoys writing novels because he doesn't know how they'll end.
The Japanese author behind global best-sellers like his latest, "Killing Commendatore" hosted a special radio show on Sunday. He said he starts writing without deciding how the story should end. Ideas pop up as he writes, and he goes with the flow while the stories take shape.
"It's no fun writing a story if I already know how it's going to end," Murakami said. "Because the very person who is writing doesn't know what happens, I think readers would also share the anticipation and enjoy the thrill while reading."
"Murakami Radio" is a pre-recorded 55-minute show broadcast only in Japan — his second this year on Tokyo FM after his first in August was a big hit.
Music serves as important motifs in his stories. An avid listener and collector of music, he has also written books on the topic.
During Sunday's show, Murakami played a selection of cover versions from jazz and pop. He opened the show paying tribute to Aretha Franklin, playing her version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way," which he only played partially in his earlier show, a week before the American singer died.
Murakami said he is a "cover maniac" as he likes to listen to the tunes covered in different styles and interpretations.
Murakami, 69, began writing while running a jazz bar in Tokyo after graduating from university. His first novel, "Hear the Wind Sing," came out in 1979, and the 1987 romantic novel "Norwegian Wood" was his first best-seller, establishing him as a young literary star. Recent best-sellers include "1Q84" and "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage."
A perennial contender for the Nobel literature prize, Murakami got a break from the attention this year when there was no award given in the category due to a committee scandal.
Murakami appeared earlier this month at a talk event hosted by the New Yorker magazine in New York, marking the U.S. debut of his latest novel. Murakami told the New Yorker in August that his original inspiration for the latest novel came from the 18th century ghost story. He said he also wants to write something of an homage to "The Great Gatsby."
Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi
CBS Corp. says that Richard Parsons, its interim chairman, has resigned from its board because of illness.
The media company named Strauss Zelnick, another media industry leader, as his replacement.
CBS named Parsons interim chairman in September as it tried to reshape itself following the ouster of its longtime chief Les Moonves.
Parsons said in a statement Sunday that he was already dealing with multiple myeloma when he joined the board, but "unanticipated complications have created additional new challenges" and that his doctors have advised he cut back on his commitments to ensure recovery.
His successor, Zelnick, currently serves as CEO and chairman of interactive entertainment company Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.
Actress Selma Blair has gone public with her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
In a social media post on Saturday, Blair, 46, said she decided to go public with her diagnosis after a costume designer on her Netflix series showed amazing kindness in helping her into a costume.
“She carefully gets my legs in my pants, pulls my top over my head, buttons my coats and offers her shoulder to steady myself,” Blair said on Instagram.
Blair said that kindness prompted her to tell others about how’s she’s handling the disease, which she was diagnosed with in August.
“I am disabled. I fall sometimes. I drop things. My memory is foggy. And my left side is asking for directions from a broken GPS,” she wrote on Instagram.
“I don’t know exactly what I will do, but I will do my best,” she said.
Blair, who has starred in such movies as “Cruel Intentions,” Legally Blonde” and “Hellboy,” said MS has not gotten her down.
“I am in the thick of it, but I hope to give hope to others. And even to myself.”
She said she was overwhelmed when she was first diagnosed with MS and that she wanted to sleep all the time, but Blair said she’s more adjusted now.
“I have MS and I am OK. But if you see me, dropping crap all over the street, feel free to help me pick it up. It takes a whole day for me alone. Thank you and may we all know good days amongst the challenges,” she said.
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system that is unpredictable and often disabling, according to the National MS Society.
There is no known cause or cure, but researchers believe it is triggered by environmental factors in people genetically predisposed to the disease.
More women than men suffer from the illness, and most are diagnosed between 20 and 50 years old.
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