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PEOPLE IN BRIEF: NBC's Edwin Newman dies

NBC’s Edwin Newman dies

NEW YORK — Edwin Newman, who brought literacy, wit and energy to NBC newscasts for more than three decades, and battled linguistic pretense and clutter in his best sellers ‘‘Strictly Speaking’’ and ‘‘A Civil Tongue,’’ has died. He was 91.

Newman died on Aug. 13 of pneumonia in Oxford, England. He had moved there with his wife in 2007 to live closer to their daughter, said his lawyer Rupert Mead. He said the family delayed announcing Newman’s death so they could spend some time privately grieving.

At NBC from 1952 until his retirement in 1984, Newman did political reporting, foreign reporting, anchoring of news specials, ‘‘Meet the Press,’’ ‘‘Today,’’ ‘‘Nightly News,’’ midday news and a variety of radio spots. He announced the death of President John F. Kennedy on radio, and anchored on TV when President Ronald Reagan was shot.

‘American Idol’ opens auditions on MySpace

LOS ANGELES — The first online auditions for ‘‘American Idol’’ are open.

To mark the Fox TV show’s 10th anniversary, hopeful pop stars have the chance to submit an audition video at MySpace through Oct. 6.

The entries must be no longer than 40 seconds and chosen from a list of songs posted online, along with other audition guidelines, Fox said Wednesday. Contestants for the show must be between the ages of 15 and 28. The song possibilities include Bill Withers’ ‘‘Ain’t No Sunshine,’’ Keith Urban’s ‘‘Kiss a Girl’’ and Barry Manilow’s ‘‘Copacabana.’’

Hootie & The Blowfish get SC monument

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hootie & The Blowfish is getting a monument in South Carolina’s capital city.

The State newspaper reported that a large steel and black granite art piece will be unveiled Oct. 21 in Columbia’s Five Points neighborhood, blocks from the University of South Carolina.

The newspaper reported the monument is expected to be about 20 feet long, 10 feet wide and at least 12 feet tall.

The Southern rockers sold more than 16 million copies of their debut album, ‘‘Cracked Rear View,’’ released in 1994.