LAWSUITS Don’t break off a piece of that Kit Kat bar for R.E.M. On Aug. 21 in Atlanta, the band filed a trademark-infringement suit against Hershey Foods Corp., accusing the chocolate maker of ”blatantly exploiting” it by launching an unauthorized ”Kit Kat/R.E.M. Concert” contest for free tickets and trips. ”Hershey’s promotional campaign … tarnishes the R.E.M. name,” the suit states. Hershey says it acted in good taste.
PREGNANT Today coanchor Katie Couric, 38, announced on the air that she and her husband, attorney Jay Monahan, 39, are expecting their second child in January. Their daughter, Ellie, is 4.
DEALS The quest for a network continues for former QVC honcho and Fox television mastermind Barry Diller, 53. Diller, who last year saw CBS slip from his grasp, acquired a 20 percent stake in and assumed the chairmanship of Silver King Communications, owner of 12 UHF and 27 low- power TV stations, on Aug. 25. Diller reportedly plans to use Silver King, which reaches 28 million households, to launch a new programming giant.
RETIRING After 10 years as the sluggish pooch on Married … With Children, Buck, 12 1/2, will retire from the series on Oct. 1. ”It’s getting more difficult for him to distinguish hand signals from a distance,” trainer Steven Ritt says of Buck, whose retirement plans include ”laying around a lot, going on hikes, getting acupuncture, and spending a lot of time with his girlfriend, Frieda.” A new Bundy pet will be ushered in during the same episode.
RECOVERING Former Dallas villain Larry Hagman, 63, following a successful liver transplant Aug. 23 in L.A. The transport of Hagman’s new organ via helicopter was covered live by several local TV stations.
DEAD Gary Crosby, 62, eldest son of Bing, of lung cancer, on Aug. 25 in Burbank, Calif. Although he recorded two duets with his father in the 1950s, the younger Crosby was best known for his television role as Officer Ed Wells on Adam-12 … Motown singer and songwriter Ronnie White, 57, of leukemia, on Aug. 26 in Detroit. White, a founding member of the Miracles, cowrote the hit songs ”My Girl” and ”My Guy” and was responsible for discovering 10-year-old Steveland Morris, a.k.a. Stevie Wonder…. Dwayne Goettel, 31, keyboardist of the Canadian band Skinny Puppy, of an apparent heroin overdose, on Aug. 23 at his parents’ home in Edmonton. Skinny Puppy, pioneers of industrial rock, are scheduled to release their ninth album later this year … Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, 96, who helped define 20th-century photojournalism, of cardiac arrest, Aug. 23 on Martha’s Vineyard. ”Eisie,” as he was known, was among Life magazine’s first photographers. He was perhaps best known for his 1945 photo of an American sailor kissing a nurse in Times Square on V-J Day.