ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* His name sounds more like an actor in some ponderous BBC drama, but Garth Brooks is really hot stuff in the American country music world. So there's no surprise that he is getting his first prime time network special at 9 tonight on NBC (Channel 2).
"This is Garth Brooks" includes footage from a summer concert in Dallas -- including big hits "If Tomorrow Never Comes," "Friends in Low Places" and "The Dance."
But interviews with the performer, family and friends also profile the artist who swept last year's Academy of Country Music Awards.
* And speaking of country, remember that Baltimore deejay Laurie Deyoung (WPOC-FM 93.1) is a guest on NBC's "Hot Country Nights" on Sunday (8 p.m., Channel 2).
* In another local angle, Towson State grad John Glover is one of the stars of "Drug Wars: The Cocaine Cartel," an NBC miniseries beginning Sunday (9 p.m., Channel 2).
Good timing, for the actor's alma mater has recently announced that Glover is returning next month for a performance to help raise funds to establish the John Glover Endowment for Acting Majors.
"An Actor and His Work" will be presented by Glover at 8 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Main Stage theater at TSU. The show is a blend of clips from his work and a question-and-answer session with the audience.
Tickets are $10; $5 for students. For information, call 830-2792. After Feb. 4, tickets can be reserved by calling 830-ARTS (2797).
Another TSU alum, actor Charles Dutton of the Baltimore-setting Fox series "Roc," similarly launched a scholarship for minority students last November, with a performance of "An Evening of Shakespeare" at the campus.
* Maryland Public Television is planning tomorrow to air live reports through the day from the "8th International Auto Show" currently on display at the Convention Center.
Host John Davis and others from the staff of MPT's "Motorweek" program will make the periodic reports, lasting from 30 seconds to about three minutes each.
* Department of general confusion:
Media Monitor should be court-martialed. In an item earlier this week on last Sunday's "ACE Awards" broadcast, we mis-identified the Pentagon figure who presided over a salute to CNN's Persian Gulf war coverage. The military man in a tux was not Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf but another press briefing officer from the war, Lt. Gen. Thomas Kelly, since retired from the Army.
But the point remains: the presence of an authority upon whom CNN reported, especially in the context of honoring news coverage, seemed a too-cozy connection between media and reportorial subject.