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Brooks duel with label ends with a shake-up

Garth Brooks' war of wills with his record label has ended with a management shake-up and plans for his long-delayed album Sevens to be in stores for Christmas. Brooks, who held up the album for months, sidestepped questions about his possible role as power broker at a news conference Wednesday announcing Capitol Nashville's changes and his album's Nov. 25 release. "The decision that was made, was made by the company," he insisted. In a telephone interview later Wednesday, Brooks denied reports that he refused to release Sevens until Capitol Nashville president and chief executive Scott Hendricks was replaced with Pat Quigley, a marketing expert who has worked closely with Brooks in the past. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the label went with the CEO candidate Brooks liked better and agreed to use Brooks' own ideas for marketing his record.

DEA critical of marijuana

use on "Murphy Brown'

Fictional broadcaster Murphy Brown's in trouble again with a government official. The chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration accused the CBS television character Wednesday of sending a dangerous message to children by using marijuana to relieve nausea caused by chemotherapy. In a statement issued shortly before Wednesday's broadcast, DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine said CBS and the show's creators were "doing a great disservice" by "trivializing drug abuse." In the episode, actor Candice Bergen, as Brown, is shown smoking a marijuana cigarette to quell nausea produced by chemotherapy prescribed to treat her breast cancer. The marijuana is purchased by another character, concerned with Brown's inability to get relief from legal therapies. Said CBS vice president Chris Enders: "Murphy Brown has a rich history of blending comedy with controversial political and social issues and doing it responsibly." In 1992, then-Vice President Dan Quayle touched off a national debate when he accused the show of undermining families with Murphy Brown's decision to have a child out of wedlock.

In other news . . .

+ A Paris court Wednesday ordered an ex-husband of Brigitte Bardot to pay her $8,300 in damages for violating her privacy in his book, My Reply to BB. Jacques Charrier, wed to the actor from 1959 to 1963, was cited for publishing her love letters and photos, plus writing about her alleged suicide try. Bardot, 62, previously had to pay Charrier $25,000 in damages for references to him in her memoir, Initials BB.

+ Paxson Communications Corp. has agreed to purchase Touched by an Angel reruns from CBS, which is owned by Westinghouse Electric Corp., the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Paxson, based in West Palm Beach, will pay CBS $900,000 for each of 88 episodes to run in syndication.

+ Starting Monday, celebrity voices will replace that annoying "Welcome" you get from America Online. Rosie O'Donnell, Dennis Rodman, David Letterman and others will be heard in connection with an AOL contest.

+ Canadian-born quiz show host who recently became an American citizen. In the form of a question, please: Who is Alex Trebek? Trebek, in Washington taping special Jeopardy! game show tournaments, told a National Press Club luncheon Wednesday that he became a U.S. citizen earlier this year. "It didn't really change my life at all when it occurred," said Trebek, 57. "However, a couple of weeks after being sworn in, I received a lovely letter . . . informing me that I had just been selected at random from 2{-million people to serve jury duty."

TAKE TWO: Redbook was not sure how subscribers would feel about a cover featuring Pierce Brosnan and his girlfriend, Keely Shaye Smith, as she breast-fed their son, so the magazine put out two covers for the first time. The December issue hit newsstands Wednesday, showing the breast-feeding photo, while subscribers got one with her holding the baby. Kate White, the editor in chief, says she thought the cover would connect with readers.

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