BRANDED: Pretty soon you'll be able to wear your ESPN brand sunglasses and helmet while you ride your ESPN skateboard. The cable sports broadcaster is entering the retail market with an assortment of licensed sports gear, the head of the Walt Disney Co. unit's new business division told Reuters Thursday. "The ESPN brand hasn't really been exploited yet in the consumer product sense, but we think there are opportunities there," Rick Alessandri, general manager of ESPN Enterprises, told the news service. Disney is working directly with retailers to develop the products.
QUOTED: "This is a travesty, I demand a recount." -- Justin Timberlake, upon accepting MTV's award for best male video, for which he beat the legendary Johnny Cash.
SILENCED: Two critics of former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Venture have been prohibited by a court order from contacting the wrestling star-turned-politician for one year, not two, reports the Associated Press. The ruling, handed down by a Ramsey County District judge yesterday, abbreviated the length of time prohibiting former political opponent Bill Dahn and environmental activist Leslie Davis from having postal, e-mail, telephone or personal contact with Ventura. Earlier, another judge had issued a temporary restraining order against the pair for two years. Dahn and Davis had been protesting regularly outside the St. Paul public television studios where Ventura has been taping pilot episodes of a planned MSNBC program.
FETED: "The Late Show" with David Letterman will mark its 10th anniversary on CBS tonight with a commemorative top 10 list, and an hour-long primetime special is in the works, notes the Hollywood Reporter. Among the top 10 "good things" about being on CBS for 10 years the host will reveal tonight: "No matter how many years you're at the network, you'll never be as old as the '60 Minutes' guys" (No. 8) and "CBS? I thought this was ABC' (No. 1)." Letterman's primetime anniversary special will air on CBS in February.