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Web posted on: Wednesday, October 07, 1998 5:59:45 PM

Today's buzz stories:


Magic bouncing from TV to music

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Earvin "Magic" Johnson is certainly keeping himself busy. On the heels of his TV talk show's cancellation, Johnson announced that he has teamed up with MCA Records to form Magic's 32 Records.

The company, named for Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers jersey number, will release its debut record early next year. "I've been interested in starting a record label for a long time now," Johnson said in a statement. "Even when I was playing ball, a lot of my friends in the music industry encouraged me to do this, but the timing wasn't right for me."

The basketball legend, who announced he was HIV-positive several years ago, also owns a chain of movie theaters and entered the concert promotion business last year.

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Garth Brooks begins record run in Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS (CNN) -- Country superstar Garth Brooks kicked off a record-breaking concert series in Minnesota on Tuesday, and the praise came pouring in. Brooks sold out a record nine consecutive shows at Minneapolis' Target Center arena, the first of which was held before thousands of fans on Tuesday night.

"Garth Brooks has enriched the world with his unique ability," Gov. Arne Carlson said in a proclamation declaring Tuesday "Garth Brooks Day." Brooks' initially scheduled concert at the Target Center sold out last month in 11 minutes, so he added the other shows to accommodate fans, bringing total ticket sales to about 160,000.

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'Seinfeld' cab finds museum home

LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The yellow cab featured in "Seinfeld" has found its place in television history. On Tuesday, Budget Rent A Car of Beverly Hills donated the cab to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. It had originally been slated for the auction block. The 1994 Chevrolet Caprice was featured in more than 30 episodes of the long-running sitcom, which ended last season.

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Margaret Whiting sues New York for $3 million

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Margaret Whiting, a pop singer famous in the 1940s and '50s, is suing the city of New York for $3 million after she says she stepped in a pothole and broke her knee. Whiting, 73, says in court papers filed this week that she suffered the injury April 24 in Manhattan. She contends the pothole caused her to fall into a crosswalk.

Whiting is asking $2 million in damages for her injuries. Her husband-manager, former porn actor Jack Wrangler, asks $1 million for loss of his wife's conjugal fellowship and companionship. The lawsuit also names Consolidated Edison and City Wide Asphalt Paving Co., a Con Edison subcontractor, as defendants.

Among Whiting's hits were several written by composer-lyricist Johnny Mercer, including "Moonlight in Vermont," "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and "Black Magic."

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"Sesame Street"

Nader accuses 'Sesame Street' of exploiting kids

NEW YORK (CNN) -- The children's show "Sesame Street" has a $1 million corporate sponsorship -- after 30 years of commercial-free broadcasting -- but consumer advocate Ralph Nader isn't happy about it.

A 15-second message from indoor playground manufacturer Discovery Zone will precede and follow each "Sesame Street" episode when the new season begins November 16, makers of the children's show said. No commercials will air during the show. The sponsorship is necessary because Children's Television Workshop, which produces the show, is getting less funding from public television, producers said.

Nader, who has been a guest on "Sesame Street," urged parents to protest the deal. "As 'Sesame Street' turns 30, and adds these Discovery Zone commercials, perhaps it ought to change its name to 'Huckster Alley,'" Nader said Tuesday. He accused "Sesame Street" of "exploiting impressionable children."

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Reuters contributed to this report.

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