Sideshow: Couric goes to Yahoo; 'Family Guy' murders dog

Yahoo lands Katie Couric

In a bid to bolster its online video news coverage, Yahoo has stolen Katie Couric away from ABC News, the site confirmed Monday.

Online news, once limited to text and the occasional vid, is going up against TV with live video and anchored news shows. With a big name like Couric onboard, Yahoo can court advertisers aggressively, said the Hollywood Reporter.

"Katie's depth of experience, her intellectual curiosity, and her charisma make her the perfect choice to anchor Yahoo News," Yahoo chief executive officer Marissa Mayer said. It's unclear what exactly Couric will do at Yahoo, other than help "pioneer a new chapter of digital journalism," as Mayer put it.

Couric said she's excited to be at a company "at the intersection of content and technology," whatever that means. No word on her salary.


Mom: Brittany not poisoned

Brittany Murphy's mother, Sharon, says she is dismayed and disturbed by reports the late actress' death in 2009 was caused by rat poison. Murphy's cause of death is listed as pneumonia and anemia.

Her biological father, Angelo Bertolotti, recently said lab tests on Brittany's blood and tissue samples revealed "heavy metals/toxic elements," suggesting she was poisoned.

Calling Bertolotti's actions "inexcusable efforts to smear my daughter's memory," Sharon Murphy said his claims were based on "flimsy evidence."


New LP from the Boss

Bruce Springsteen will release his 18th studio album, High Hopes, on Jan. 14.

It will be his first with a title track he didn't write himself: "High Hopes" is a cover of a song written by Tim Scott and recorded in 1990 by the L.A. rock band the Havalinas.

Springsteen first recorded the song in '96. He rerecorded it this year while on tour in Australia sans longtime guitarist Steven Van Zandt, who was off in Norway shooting his Netflix show Lilyhammer. Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello filled in for Steven. The album features a number of covers and songs that have long been in the Springsteen repertoire.

The singer says on his website that the collection contains "some of our best unreleased material of the last decade."

- Dan DeLuca

Seth MacFarlane, dog killer

Brian the Family Dog, who has been an integral member of the Family Guy cast since the show premiered in 1999, was viciously, callously killed - murdered by car - on Sunday's episode. The animated drama had the Griffin Family say adieu to Brian's bloody carcass.

"We thought it could be a fun way to shake things up," exec producer Steve Callaghan tells E! News. He added that it would have been "more traumatic" if the show killed off one of the Griffin kids.


Gossip petits fours

Owwee!!! TV chef Giada De Laurentiis, 43, sliced her finger during the Food Network's annual Thanksgiving Live special on Saturday. "It's throbbing," she said Monday on Today. . . . Rapper-actor Chris "Ludacris" Bridges has issued a call for Americans to help relief efforts in the Philippines. He set the example, donating $100,000 through the Give Foundation.