Hilary Swank turns 35 today. Restaurateur Keith McNally is turning 58. Lisa Kudrow is 46. The former bodybuilder and actor who is now the Governor of California is 62. Director Peter Bogdanovich is turning 70. Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, is 75. Director Richard Linklater is turning 49. Laurence Fishburne is 48. Park Avenue plastic surgeon David Hidalgo is 57. Former MTV exec (and now Oprah disciple) Christina Norman is turning 46. Ad agency CEO Chuck Brymer is 50. Food Network host Alton Brown is turning 47. Tom Green is 38. Vivica A. Fox is turning 45. Jaime Pressly is 32. Anita Hill is 53. And Paul Anka turns 68 today.
Former MTV exec Christina Norman has been tapped by Oprah Winfrey to run her new cable network, OWN, but it turns out Norman wasn't the daytime queen's first choice. Fortune reports that honor goes to Tom Freston, who first got a call from Oprah while vacationing in Burma in 2006 but turned down offers to run both Harpo and OWN. No matter. Oprah has since hired Tom as a consultant since he happens to be her "business soul mate." Nice to know the fact that Kathy Freston's 21-day "cleansing diet" didn't end up doing Oprah much good hasn't diminished her opinion of the Frestons! [Fortune]
• ABC is reportedly thinking about giving Jimmy Kimmel the Nightline slot, putting him in competition with Conan when he takes over for Leno. [NYT]
• ABC News is cutting 35; Disney-ABC TV is dismissing 300. [TVN, THR]
• Congressional Quarterly is for sale. [WSJ]
• The Washington Post is dropping Book World as a Sunday section. [WP]
• AOL is laying off around 700 employees, or 10% of its work force. [WSJ]
• Ex-MTV prez Christina Norman will run Oprah's new TV network. [THR]
MTV president Christina Norman called it quits yesterday, announcing her decision at a council meeting. "Something about 'the company being in a good place,' but wanting some 'time for herself,'" a source said. In a longwinded email to staff, MTV Networks president Van Toffler extolled Norman's virtues, praising her as the "architect" of "VH1's rebirth" who "gave the world 'Celebreality,' along with 'Hip Hop Honors,'" which is very nearly as noble as curing cancer! You've got to hand it to Norman for surviving 17 years at MTV, where she started as a freelance production manager: "Yes, freelance," Toffler writes. See permalancers? You too could maybe possibly someday be a somebody! Yay! Just make sure you don't get sick, because then you're totally screwed. Full announcement after the jump.
A longtime veteran of the MTV machine, Norman served as president of MTV from 2005 to February 2008. She went on to become the CEO of OWN, Oprah Winfrey's TV network, but was dismissed in 2011 due to mediocre ratings. She's since taken on an executive editor position for the Huffington Post's "BlackVoices" page.
Good news for Times Square, for New Jersey Uggs-wearing high school girls, and for people who like it when Jossip is wrong. At least according to MTV president Christina Norman, MTV's TRL will continue to "air like always," although things will "operate more efficiently downstairs." We can only assume that's some sort of veiled jab at Vanessa Minnillo. Anyway, the full email— in which the words "eternally grateful" are applied to MTV2 staffers—is after the jump.