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Katie Couric on ‘Today’ drama over Megyn Kelly’s debut and Tamron Hall’s exit

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 11:25 AM

Former ‘Today’ show anchor Katie Couric, pictured here moderating a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2014 in New York City, weighed in on the shake-up at the longtime morning show with Tameron Hall’s departure and Megyn Kelly’s upcoming debut.
John Moore/Getty Images
Former ‘Today’ show anchor Katie Couric, pictured here moderating a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2014 in New York City, weighed in on the shake-up at the longtime morning show with Tameron Hall’s departure and Megyn Kelly’s upcoming debut.(John Moore/Getty Images)

Former “Today” show host and news anchor Katie Couric weighed in on the recent anchor shake-up at the longtime NBC morning show.

The former “Today” anchor stopped by “Watch What Happens Live” and talked to Andy Cohen about her thoughts on Megyn Kelly’s upcoming debut and Tamron Hall’s sudden exit.

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Couric kept mum on a lot of the details and made it clear she isn’t taking sides after a caller asked about the shakeup.

“I haven’t talked to Tamron. I don’t know Tamron well. I do know Megyn a bit,” she said. 

“Unfortunately I think sometimes people turn morning shows into soap operas that they’re not. Because they feel so intimately connected to the people on the show, they feel like they’re members of their family. They get very territorial and proprietary about it. And they read things into relationships.”

Couric predicted the upheaval will settle down soon.

“I think it’ll all work out.”

“And I think the show is great. I wish Tamron well. But I’m just not getting involved in the drama of it.”

>> Related: ‘Today’ host Hoda Kotb announces adotion of baby girl

Hall announced her departure from the show in February just days after she learned she would lose her 9 a.m. time slot to newcomer Megyn Kelly, who will join the show in September. It’s rumored that Kelly will either take over Al Roker and Hall’s old spot at 9 a.m. or take on Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s 10 a.m. hour.

“The format is still in progress, but she will most likely be hosting the hour on her own,” a source told People.

Another star reporter, this time at the New Yorker, out after ‘improper sexual conduct’

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 8:41 PM

Ryan Lizza, Washington Correspondent for The New Yorker, (right) takes a picture of Alicia Menendez, (center) as Trevor Noah applauds during Comedy Central's
Ryan Lizza, Washington Correspondent for The New Yorker, (right) takes a picture of Alicia Menendez, (center) as Trevor Noah applauds during Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" Presents "Podium Pandemonium: A Debate About Debates," in February of 2016.(Scott Eisen/Getty Images for Comedy Central)

The New Yorker has fired its Washington correspondent, Ryan Lizza, over what the magazine called “improper sexual conduct.”

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New Yorker officials said in a statement that they recently learned of the “improper” conduct and made the decision to let Lizza go.

“We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza,” according to the magazine’s statement.

Ryan Lizza appearing on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah" in February of 2016.(Scott Eisen/Getty Images for Comedy Central)

It’s unclear what the “improper sexual conduct” refers to, but Lizza issued a statement denying any improprieties.

“I am dismayed that The New Yorker has decided to characterize a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate. The New Yorker was unable to cite any company policy that was violated,” Lizza said.

Lizza, who has worked at the magazine for the past decade, apologized to his family and colleagues for any embarrassment, but said The New Yorker was wrong.

“This decision, which was made hastily and without a full investigation of the relevant facts, was a terrible mistake,” Lizza said.

The New Yorker hasn’t revealed any details of the complaint against Lizza and apparently has no plans to do so.

“Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further,” according to the magazine’s statement.

>> Related: Charlie Rose fired from CBS amid sexual harassment allegations; PBS cuts ties with newsman

Lizza’s termination follows other recent high-profile firings over allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, including former “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer, former CBS “This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose and New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush.

Family, friends celebrate Kirk Douglas’s 101st year

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 5:13 PM

What You Need To Know: Kirk Douglas

Kirk Douglas had a lot of help to blow out his many birthday candles over the weekend.

Deadline Hollywood reported that the Hollywood legend rang in 101 years on Saturday at his Beverly Hills home and was showered with tributes from his famous family. 

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The senior Douglas’ 17-year-old grandson, Dylan Douglas, posted a photo on an Instagram of himself planting a peck on his grandfather’s face.

“Happy birthday 101 years and still sexy love you with all my heart Pappy,” Dylan captioned the photo.

Happy birthday 101 years and still sexy love you with all my heart Pappy

A post shared by Dylan Douglas (@dy1and) on

Dylan’s mother, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, offered her own well wishes for her father-in-law. She shared a photo on Instagram of Douglas and herself with the caption, “101 today!!!! My darling Pappy on my knee. Happy Birthday to my wonderful, inspirational and loving father in law, Kirk. Love you with all my heart.”

Zeta-Jones’ posts came in lieu of her presence at Douglas’s lunchtime birthday bash, but she definitely didn’t miss out on singing her father-in-law a personalized rendition of “Happy Birthday” through FaceTime, according to The Daily Mail

In addition to his 73-year-old son, Michael Douglas, — who flew in and out of the celebration to rejoin his son Cameron at the birth of his granddaughter — Kirk was joined in celebration by his wife of 63 years, Anne, 98, nieces and nephews and Hollywood bigwigs. 

Douglas’ family presented him with a bright, sunflower-patterned cake with his age written in frosting, and his cardiologist allowed the “Spartacus” star to enjoy his yearly, physician-permitted shot of vodka, according to Deadline

Born on Dec. 9, 1916, Kirk Douglas has enjoyed a storied career spanning several decades. The veteran was known for playing the title character from “Ulysses” (1954), starring in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (1954) and his famed role as “Spartacus” (1960). 

Considering the 101-year-old actor was up and dancing just last year, he’s still got plenty of youth left inside.

Jane Fonda reunites with ‘favorite ex-husband’ Ted Turner for her 80th birthday bash

Published: Monday, December 11, 2017 @ 9:55 AM

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 09:  Ted Turner and Jane Fonda attend GCAPP
ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 09: Ted Turner and Jane Fonda attend GCAPP "Eight Decades of Jane" in Celebration of Jane Fonda's 80th Birthday at The Whitley on December 9, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for GAACP)(Rick Diamond)

Jane Fonda was joined by her “favorite ex-husband” Ted Turner and friends to celebrate her 80th birthday at The Whitley in Atlanta Saturday night. 

James Taylor and Carole King performed and then helped Jane blow out candles. 

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Other famous friends at the “Eight Decades of Jane” celebration included including actresses Rosanna Arquette and Catherine Keener, playwright Eve Ensler and Spanx founder Sarah Blakely. 

Fonda’s son, Troy Garity, was also among the 228 guests.

The Associated Press reported that the event recognized Fonda’s achievements throughout her life and also raised $1.3 million for Fonda’s Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential foundation, which she created in 1995.

More information on the event and Fonda’s GCAPP foundation can be found at myAJC.com.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry make their first royal appearance 

Published: Friday, December 01, 2017 @ 12:28 PM

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary on December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday 27th November 2017 and will marry at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018.  (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary on December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday 27th November 2017 and will marry at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are already getting into their royal duties.

On Dec. 1, the newly engaged couple made their first royal appearance in Nottingham, about 125 miles north of London, and were greeted by screaming fans in the town center.

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In one video, a fan can be overheard asking the prince, “as a ginger” what it’s like to be with someone like Markle, and Harry responded, “It’s great, isn’t it? Unbelievable.”

As the couple made their way through the crowd, Markle was handed bouquets of flowers from fans. Markle and Harry’s first stop was Nottingham Contemporary, where they attended an exhibit in honor of World AIDS Day, a cause close to Prince Harry’s heart.

People reported that Buckingham Palace told reporters Tuesday during a press briefing that Harry was “looking forward to introducing Ms. Markle to a community that has become very special to him” before heading on their trip to Nottingham.

Royal Love: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple announced their engagement to the world on Nov. 27 with a statement from Kensington Palace on behalf of Prince Harry.

“His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty, The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace,” the statement read in part.

Markle and Harry are planning for a May 2018 wedding at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attends the Terrance Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary on December 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday 27th November 2017 and will marry at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle in May 2018. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)