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Hey, Trust Me, I'm Oprah

10/19/2006 9:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

We might not have TV news giants like Walter Cronkite anymore, but we do have Oprah – and no one demands more respect than she does, at least according to one very prominent newsman.

Don Hewitt, creator of "60 Minutes" and Cronkite's former executive producer, says that the talk queen is this generation's answer to the venerated CBS News anchor. "I don't think there's anyone on television today who demands more respect than Oprah," says Hewitt, in an interview with the Cornell University Daily Sun (via the New York Post). "Oprah is to television what Walter Cronkite was at one time." Though Hewitt thinks that there's a slightly different explanation -- other than pure journalistic quality -- for Oprah's pre-eminence: "There is no broadcast that anyone wants to be on more to publicize anything than Oprah."

"Runway" Bad Boy Wins Big Prize

Jeffrey Sebelia, the one contestant everyone reviled, took his place in the pantheon of reality-show villain-winners when he was crowned the winner of Bravo's hit series "Project Runway" last night. "I'm shocked," said Sebelia after his triumph. "My brain is trying to figure out exactly what's happening." Sebelia's designs beat out fellow finalists Uli Herzner, Laura Bennett, and fan fave Michael Knight in the final episode of the third "Runway." Sebelia will get $100,000 in seed money to start his own line as well as a mentorship. Entertainment Weekly's Mark Harris described Sebelia's often-controversial designs as "fascinating and hideous, provocative and repellent, fashion-forward and taste-backward."

Yoko Ono Sues for $10 Million of Lennon Royalties

Yoko Ono sued the music company EMI Group PLC and Capitol Records for $10 million on Wednesday, claiming that she'd been cheated out of royalties from the sale of her late husband John Lennon's records. The suit accuses the record labels of violating agreements by "willfully and knowingly underreporting royalties" by hiding the "true use and disposition of Lennon's recordings." In more legalese, Ono accused the companies of "intentionally and systematically rendering dishonest and grossly deficient accounting statements." Her lawyer did not comment, while an EMI/Capitol rep said that "sometimes there are differences of opinion" when it comes to royalties, and that "99 times out of 100 these things are resolved in an amicable way."

Jaime Pressly Gets Engaged

"My Name Is Earl" star Jaime Pressly got engaged over the weekend to DJ Eric Cubiche, whom she's been dating for a year, reports "EXTRA." But even though the pair did their thing over the weekend, Pressly just got the ring yesterday, a sparkler that a "friend" deems "gorgeous." As it happens, Pressly will be presenting her Spring/Summer fashion collection J'aime by Jaime Pressly tomorrow at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. "Eric has been my best friend for 9 years," said Pressly recently.

Party Favors: Sharon Osbourne Removes Gastric Band ... CBS' "Waterfront" Gets Canned Before It Begins ... Freston Gets $72 Million Golden Parachute

Sharon Osbourne, who has battled weight issues for years, will be undoing a gastric band that has limited her stomach's capacity and will be relying upon "her head" to keep the pounds off from now on, she tells People ... The expensive CBS drama "Waterfront," based loosely on the story of infamous Providence mayor Buddy Cianci, is getting the axe from CBS even before it airs. The Los Angeles Times' Scott Collins reports that CBS chief entertainment chief Nina Tassler didn't like the show's "creative direction" and decided to pull the plug even though five episodes have already been produced ... Ousted MTV chief Tom Freston might be much lamented at Viacom, but he's sitting pretty: Variety reports that he will receive a severance package of just over $72 million, plus a three-year "adviser" role that pays $1 million per year. Freston was fired by Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone and replaced by Redstone confidant Phillipe Dauman.

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2864 days ago

They about to get paid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    

angel didnt marry the boy from walmart,willie? whos going to take care of the baby?i guess she went on jerry springer for nothing.

2864 days ago

Alyn Brodsky    

If Oprah is this generation's answer to Walter Cronkite, The Maven is this generation's answer to the Messiah.

2864 days ago

Suzanne Vanderbeck    

I would like to know how anyone, who is called to holiness, can behave as most entertainment people do, most knowing that God has not called them to this purpose. Holiness is a necessary part of living for the Triune God and, when we are not holy, God eventually intervenes. Stop lifting up false gods and listening to voices that are not His. This is the ruination of America.

2864 days ago

brenda rollins    

jeffrey .... you did not deserve to win project runway!!!! first your accused of cheating??? now the winner????? i agree ,, you don't deserve sh*t!!!! your crode, rude and nasty!!! shame on you!!

2864 days ago

Tonja Penix    

If there is another season of Flava of Love I will throw up. If that show isn't fake than Newyork/Tiffany made a donkey of herself. Now that's in the m..her house.

2864 days ago

melonie reid    

i think sharron osbourne is an amazing women she is strong, suppotive,
she has a big heart and if she thinks she can make it without the band
then she knows what shes doing and she has a plan already. thanks sharron
your my idol for all times you have gave me the strength through many things on how you are there for ozzy may god bless you both for many more wonderful years togther.......

2864 days ago


GOOD FOR YOU JEFFREY.. its a tv show .. you brought entertainment and on top of that you won.. .you go on wit cha bad self!!!

2864 days ago


jeffery cheated....wait until it all comes out....

2864 days ago


mad props to sharon for working to keep the weight off the good old fashioned way! :) and since oprah left her journalistich roots a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG ass time ago, i have to disagree that she is on ANY level with walter cronkite. and this is coming from a black female wanting to work in the entertainment business. walter stayed a journalist his ENTIRE career. oprah started out as a journalist, but then decided to use what she learned as a journalist to entertain ppl. see the difference? never ceases to amaze me how record companies will ALWAYS do what they can to make money off dead artist that at one point worked for them, WITHOUT ever making sure the family gets their fair share of the proceeds. can we say, "GREEDY much?!"

2864 days ago


Oh brother! Suzanne, get off your soapbox. People like you are the ruination of America. Hypocritical zealots who attempt to foist their beliefs on a free-thinking America. I respect your right to voice your opinion, THAT is the American way. However, I do not respect your opinion, and that is MY right.

2864 days ago


I think Jeffrey winning could really help a lot of people. He overcame drug addiction and look at him now! If this helps even a handful of people realize they can make it through life without drugs and that they have HOPE I think it's great.
Uli is such a class act. She really seemed truly happy for Jeffrey to be able to compete and happy for him to win.
Laura on the other hand....ugh! She brought that suspicion on Jeffrey then stands there acting like she was helping him by explaining the leather/receipt situation to him.
I felt bad for Michael, but I do think he will be a successful designer in spite of the loss.

2864 days ago

Dolce T    

I don't feel jeffrey should have one!! I felt the two designers standing in the end should have been Uli and Michael.

2864 days ago


If John Lennon were alive today, he would have come to his senses and dumped Yoko long ago! She has been living off of his money and fame far too long. I say EMI keep the $ and she get a job.

2864 days ago


SNAP! How much do we love Jamie Presley?! Congratulations girl.

2864 days ago
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