Playboy Mansion to get protected status

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The new owner of the Playboy Mansion has agreed to maintain the facade in its original condition under an agreement with the city of Los Angeles.

Daren Metropoulos entered into a permanent protection covenant for the 5-acre (2-hectare) property he bought for $100 million. He agreed to not demolish the 20,000-square-foot (1858-sq. meter) main residence as he proceeds with plans to connect the mansion and its grounds to his 2-acre plot next door.

The deal, announced Tuesday by Councilman Paul Koretz, will remain in effect for future owners. City News Service says the designation stops short of giving the building landmark status.

Hugh Hefner, who died last year, bought the estate in 1971 and made it into the epicenter of his Playboy brand and one of the world’s most famous homes.

Olympic hockey goalie challenges Bieber

NEW YORK (AP) — Olympic goalie Maddie Rooney is challenging Justin Bieber to take his best shot.

Rooney and the U.S. women’s gold-medal hockey team appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Monday night. She says she’s still waiting for a tweet from Bieber.

Rooney says she’d like a chance to stop a shot from the hockey-playing Canadian pop star. She revealed a “Team Bieber” shirt under her USA jersey.

Rooney’s stop of a shootout goal against Canada clinched gold for the Americans.

Jocelyn Lamoureux-Davidson’s triple-fake past the Canadian goalie in the shootout is nicknamed “Oops, I Did it Again.” Fallon asked, “Heard from Britney Spears?” Lamoureux-Davidson says she did get a tweet and thought it was “pretty cool.”

During their celebration tour, the players sat courtside and took photos with Serena and Venus Williams during a tennis match at Madison Square Garden. The team will attend home games of the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

Oscar ratings hit record low

NEW YORK (AP) — Television viewers could barely stifle a yawn for Hollywood’s biggest night, with the Academy Awards plunging to a record-low viewership of 26.5 million people.

The Nielsen company said that’s a 20 percent drop from the 33 million who watched the 2017 show, which was also hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Oscar viewership is often tied to the box office muscle of the big nominees, and best picture winner “The Shape of Water” only grossed $57.4 million in the United States.

It’s the first time the Oscars have drawn fewer than 30 million people, in Nielsen records that go back to 1974. The Academy Awards are often the most-watched television program of the year after the Super Bowl, but this year’s Winter Olympics opening ceremony from Pyeongchang reached 27.8 million.

The previous low-water mark for the Oscars came in 2008, when “No Country For Old Men” won best picture.

Only four years ago the Oscar reached nearly 44 million viewers. The biggest Academy Awards audience on record came in 1998, when the blockbuster “Titanic” was named best picture.

Ex-ESPN personality files sex harassment suit

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former on-air personality at ESPN has filed a lawsuit alleging she was subjected to sexual harassment at the cable television sports giant and then ostracized for complaining about it.

The lawsuit filed in federal court in Connecticut by Adrienne Lawrence describes an atmosphere in which male employees openly watch pornography on their computers and keep “scorecards” naming female colleagues they are targeting for sex.

The network said in a statement that it investigated the allegations raised by Lawrence and they are without merit.

Lawrence, who served a fellowship at ESPN, said in the lawsuit that she was subjected to unwelcome advances from anchor John Buccigross. She says he sent her unsolicited shirtless photos and used inappropriate nicknames like “doll” for her.

The lawsuit alleges that Lawrence was denied opportunities for professional development and passed over for a permanent job in retaliation for complaining to supervisors and the human resources department.

In its statement, ESPN said Lawrence was hired into a two-year talent development program and was told that her contract would not be renewed.

“At that same time, ESPN also told 100 other talent with substantially more experience, that their contracts would not be renewed,” the network said. “The company will vigorously defend its position and we are confident we will prevail in court.”