Couric, Leno trade gigs

New York -- Katie Couric making jokes about the news she reports? Jay Leno forced to interview the politicians he mocks?

Those intriguing possibilities become real on May 12. The two NBC personalities have agreed to switch jobs for a day -- Couric will be host of the "Tonight" show and Leno will be host of "Today."

Leno, who hasn't let anyone else be a "Tonight" guest host since taking over from Johnny Carson in 1992, said it was Couric's idea.

"I think she'll do fine," he told "Access Hollywood." "People like her, she has an infectious personality and she's so cute that if she bombs, she can get away with it because she's cute. If I bomb, it's 'boo hiss."'

Reid decries black image

Baltimore -- Black Americans should take control of their image in the media, actor Tim Reid says.

Reid, best-known for his TV roles on "WKRP in Cincinnati" and "Simon & Simon," has since created studios in Virginia that produce movies and television shows with more richly drawn black characters.

"I'm not sure black folks fully understand the power that media has in our life," the 58-year-old said Wednesday at Morgan State University. "We are becoming who they portray us as being. We've allowed ourselves to become a collection of negative statistics. Simon says dress like a gangster, and we do."

Reid gave the keynote address at the historically black university's first Communication Day.

Ferrell puts on running shoes

Boston -- It doesn't get more old-school than Boston, where the world's oldest marathon travels a short jog from the nation's oldest university, Harvard.

It's a natural draw for "Old School" star and "Saturday Night Live" veteran Will Ferrell, who has signed up for Monday's 26.2 mile run from Hopkinton to Boston.

The 35-year-old actor-comedian has lost 25 pounds since he began running seriously.

"Whenever I see an old friend or cast member, they say, 'Wow, you look great.' And I feel great, too," Ferrell was quoted as saying in Runner's World magazine.

Author Ambrose branched out

New York -- It turns out Stephen Ambrose didn't just write history books. The author of best sellers such as "Band of Brothers" and "The Wild Blue" also finished a children's novel shortly before his death last fall.

Simon & Schuster, his longtime publisher, said it planned to release Ambrose's "This Vast Land," a novel that imagines the Lewis and Clark expedition through the words of a young explorer.

"My father's passion for the story of Lewis and Clark compelled him to move beyond the bounds of nonfiction," Hugh Ambrose, the late historian's son, said Wednesday.


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