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MSNBC Seeks Return of Phil Donahue

April 02, 2002|Associated Press

MSNBC is courting Phil Donahue to return to television as the host of a topical prime-time hour.

Although the network would not comment on its search for new programming, a source close to the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity said Donahue wants to do it but a deal has not been reached.

Donahue, 66, has been having "ongoing discussions" with MSNBC, said his spokeswoman, Jill DeVincens. There has been no agreement, she said.

MSNBC has been struggling in the ratings against its two cable news rivals, CNN and Fox News Channel. Donahue's daytime show was a pioneer in the field, and he won nine Daytime Emmy awards for best talk show host, the last in 1988. Oprah Winfrey's show overtook "Donahue" in the ratings in the early '90s, and production was stopped in 1996.

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