Palin joins Fox media as a commentator

ANCHORAGE - Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, will return to her broadcasting roots and take her conservative message to Fox News as a regular commentator, the cable channel announced Monday.

Fox said that according to the multiyear deal, Palin will offer political commentary and analysis on the cable channel, as well as Fox's Web site, radio network and business cable channel.

Palin, 45, is hugely popular with conservatives and has more than 1.1 million Facebook followers. She stepped down as Alaska governor in July - 17 months before the end of her first term in office and less than a year after she vaulted to overnight fame as Sen. John McCain's running mate.

Palin majored in journalism with an emphasis on broadcasting at the University of Idaho. She worked part time as a weekend sportscaster in 1988 for KTUU-TV in Anchorage, using her maiden name, Heath.


Cowell to quit 'Idol,'

be judge on own show

PASADENA - Simon Cowell, the acerbic Brit who has helped give "American Idol" some of its sharpest - and nastiest - moments, will leave the hit TV singing contest after this season.

The cantankerous judge said Monday that "The X Factor," a talent show he created and that is popular in Britain, will join Fox's schedule next year. Cowell will be a judge on "The X Factor" and will be its executive producer.

Cowell said it would have been difficult for him to do both shows. While he makes a reported $36 million a year to be on "American Idol," he owns "The X Factor" and could make much more if the show takes off.

'Spider-Man 4' to get new star, director

LOS ANGELES - Tobey Maguire is out as Peter Parker, and Sam Raimi won't be returning as director when "Spider-Man 4" hits theaters a year late in 2012.

Sony Pictures said in a statement Monday that the movie was supposed to be released in 2011 but has not yet gone into production amid rumors of trouble on the set.

Sony said it would have more news about "Spider-Man 4" in the coming weeks. The movie will be based on a script by James Vanderbilt that focuses on Peter Parker in high school.

The Associated Press