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The Baltimore Sun

Strait is country music's artist of the decade

Singer George Strait will receive the Academy of Country Music's Artist of the Decade award in recognition of his nearly 25-year career.

Only four others have received the distinction: Marty Robbins in 1969, Loretta Lynn in 1979, Alabama in 1988 and Garth Brooks in 1998.

Strait's many hits include "Amarillo By Morning," "Check Yes or No" and "I Saw God Today."

The ACM will tape a TV special in honor of Strait at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 6 to air at a later date. The 44th annual ACM awards will air live on CBS on April 5 with host Reba McEntire.

We tuned in - again

Just as Baltimore led the nation's big cities in tuning into the last two presidential debates, Charm City had the most viewers of Barack Obama's 30-minute prime-time infomercial Wednesday night, according to ratings from Nielsen Media Research yesterday.

Nationwide, the Obama ad was seen by 33.6 million viewers tuned in to CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One.

NBC was the most-viewed network of the Obama ad, with 9.8 million viewers; CBS had 8.6 million and Fox had 7.1 million. ABC didn't carry the ad, showing Pushing Daisies as usual in the 8 p.m. time slot.

According to Nielsen, the Baltimore market's household rating was 31.3; which means 31.3 percent of all TV households in the market were tuned to one of those seven outlets.

In a funk

Rocker Peter Frampton is complaining that his signs for Barack Obama have been stolen repeatedly at his home in the upscale and predominantly Republican Cincinnati suburb of Indian Hill.

Frampton, 58, is so angry, he called The Cincinnati Enquirer asking to be interviewed.

The British-born singer told the newspaper that one reason he became a U.S. citizen was so he could vote. Now, he says his rights to free speech and political speech are being violated and it "bugs" him.

Frampton said he has installed a video camera to catch the thieves.

Voting's a treat

To reward Americans for voting in the presidential election Tuesday, participating Krispy Kreme stores are giving a free doughnut to voters, reports

To claim one free star-shaped doughnut with red, white and blue sprinkles on top, you just need to show up with the "I Voted" sticker handed out at polls.

Who's next?

Britain's best-known time traveler is ending his journey.

The BBC has announced that Scottish actor David Tennant will leave long-running science fiction series Doctor Who in just over a year.

Tennant has played the show's time- and space-traveling alien hero since 2005. He will appear in a Christmas special and four hourlong episodes to be aired in 2009 and early 2010. But he said Wednesday that when the series returns for a full season in 2010, "it won't be with me."

Doctor Who was first broadcast in 1963 and is one of the BBC's longest-running and most popular programs. Tennant is the 10th actor to play the title character, who has the power to regenerate in a new body.


Author Dick Francis, 88.

Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather, 77.

Talk show host Jane Pauley, 58.

Movie director Peter Jackson, 47.

Rock musician Larry Mullen, 47.

Actor Rob Schneider, 44.

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