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Grant-Hurley showdown begins

Hugh Grant and Elizabeth Hurley, in their first face-to-face since his Tuesday arrest, met Friday at a rented 18th-century country house in West Littleton _ 110 miles west of London _ while a media herd strained behind fences to see or hear and thrilled to the delivery of a new double bed. Also on Friday, Britain's biggest-selling tabloid, the News of the World, announced it had made a deal with Divine Brown (real name: Stella Marie Thompson). She is the woman with whom Grant is alleged to have engaged in sex early Tuesday. The interview with her will be published Sunday. The tabloid declined to discuss its financial arrangement with Brown but said she had provided "a full and detailed account." Meanwhile, three-quarters of the 49 callers responding to a TimesLine question this week said Hurley should dump Grant.

WQYK lets midday DJ Dan Stevens go

Country radio WQYK-FM 99.5 air personality Dan Stevens was told Friday that his five-year contract, about to expire, would not be renewed. Stevens had worked the lucrative, then No. 1 rated, morning shift until late 1993, when WQYK hired Cleveland Wheeler and shifted Stevens to the 9 a.m. to noon time slot. WQYK continued paying him a morning salary, which is three to four times what midday DJs earn, according to WQYK general manager Jay Miller. "We didn't want to cut his salary," Miller said, adding that the move was an economic one for WQYK. Current morning host Tom Rivers, who succeeded Wheeler this spring, will now work from 5:30 to 10 a.m. and Hank Dale, who had been on noon to 3 p.m., will expand his hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In effect, Stevens' position is eliminated. "I had eight wonderful years at WQYK," Stevens said. "I'll miss all my friends _ and the listeners."

In other news . . .

"Smooth Jazz" officially hits the air noon Tuesday on WSJT-FM 94.1, station general manager Drew Rashbaum said Friday. The newly resurrected format on the Paxson-owned station will feature a familiar lineup of DJs: Mark Krueger (6 to 10 a.m.), Al Santana (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Alicia Kaye (3 to 7 p.m.) and Tom Sanchez (7 p.m. to midnight). Not coincidentally, WFLZ-FM 93.3's Sunday Morning Jazz Jam has been canceled, producer Dennis Clark said Friday. Santana was the show's host.

Michael Jackson is negotiating with HBO to create an HBO concert special this year, according to the Hollywood Reporter. It would be his first show since he halted his world tour in 1993 after child-molestation allegations surfaced.

Jazz singer Phyllis Hyman, who starred on Broadway in Sophisticated Ladies, a tribute to Duke Ellington, died Friday. She was 45. Hyman, a legal secretary turned R&B artist, recorded When You Get Right Down To It and Living in Confusion. Police said the death was being investigated as a possible suicide.

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