Hate mail leaves TV anchor in tears


KLAS-TV, Channel 8, anchor Paula Francis broke into tears five minutes into Tuesday’s 6 p.m. broadcast and couldn’t continue after “something upsetting happened,” she said.

“Sometimes women have tears,” she told me, still emotional an hour later.

“I was having a bad day that started with two hours at the dentist,” she said.

Word in the newsroom was that she had read some hate mail just before going on the air.

Co-anchor Dave Courvoisier handled the rest of the newscast.

A co-worker said Francis, a mainstay at the CBS affilliate since 1988, faithfully responds to all emails.

‘Motown’ on Broadway

Motown lives, and Las Vegas residents Gladys Knight and Mary Wilson were not forgotten.

They were among the guest invitees to the Broadway premiere of “Motown: The Musical” on April 14.

During the finale, the show’s creator, Berry Gordy Jr., joined the cast on stage and brought up Knight, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and former Supremes Diana Ross and Wilson. They put aside their long feud and stood side by side, holding hands. Wilson even applied a kiss to Ross’ cheek via two fingers.

Wilson is played by Ariana DeBose. Knight is played by R&B singer-actress Marva Hicks.

Knight had raves for Raymond Luke Jr., who plays the young Michael Jackson.

Knight told Luke: “I should say I discovered you, too,” a reference to her discovery of Jackson at age 10 and the Jackson Five.

Also there: U2’s Bono, who, with Wonder, performed the night before at Larry Ruvo’s epic Keep Memory Alive/Power of Love gala at the MGM Grand. 

THE SCENE AND HEARD

Singer Clint Holmes’ sentimental choice for next month’s Kentucky Derby won’t happen. My Name Is Michael (lyrics from Holmes’ 1973 hit “Playground in My Mind”) finished a disappointing seventh in the Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland on April 13. The colt had opened eyes with a third-place finish Feb. 2 in the Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs, with the fastest finish of ’em all, only to fall to eighth in its next outing. ...

Look for a longer line than usual Friday outside the home of the “Pawn Stars,” 713 S. Las Vegas Blvd. The Lynyrd Skynyrd band is playing to an invite-only (through KKLZ radio) crowd of about 200 in the parking lot to celebrate the theme song they wrote for the upcoming “Pawn Stars” season.

Kevin Burke is moving on from his “Defending the Caveman” role after a 10-year run, the past six in Las Vegas. His last show at Harrah’s will be May 13. A two-for-$50 ticket special is being offered to locals from now until the run ends. ...

Andre Agassi was in still-grieving Boston on Tuesday to speak at Harvard University’s leadership class about his tennis career and his Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

SIGHTINGS

At La Comida’s soft opening  Monday: Zappos founder Tony Hsieh; Agassi’s former coach, Darren Cahill; Agassi’s attorney, Cisco Aguilar; chef Sammy DeMarco (who has a reality TV show in the works); syndicated radio host JT The Brick; UNLV golf great Jeremy Anderson and chef Andre Rochat, often referred to as the father of fine dining in Las Vegas. His original Andre’s restaurant, at 401 S. Sixth St. in downtown, was a celebrity hangout during its run from 1978 to 2009. 

THE PUNCH LINE

“We were going to have Reese Witherspoon on the show tonight, but she’s been booked elsewhere.” — Jay Leno

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. He can be reached at 702-383-0244 or email him at norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at www.normclarke.com. Follow Norm on Twitter @Norm_Clarke. “Norm Clarke’s Vegas,” airs Thursdays on the “Morning Blend” on KTNV-TV, Channel 13.