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June 15, 1989|ALEENE MacMINN | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Outspoken talk-show host Morton Downey Jr. is in the midst of another controversy. Wednesday's editions of the Record of Hackensack, N.J., reported that Downey's raucous show is about to be canceled, but Downey immediately responded that he does not believe it. The paper quoted three unidentified sources, supposedly close to the show, as saying the final episode will be taped in about two weeks. Reruns would continue through September, when syndication contracts expire, the paper reported. Downey spokesman John Murphy called the story "just another version of a rumor that has been written by other newspapers in the past three weeks." Murphy conceded that "if the right sources are talking, then the rumors could be true. But at this time, I am not aware of plans to cancel the show." The program is taped at WWOR-TV in Secaucus, N.J., and a spokeswoman there said she is not aware of any plans to silence Downey.

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