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Jesse Ventura in Talk Show Negotiations

November 13, 2002|Elizabeth Jensen | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura appears to be headed to a nightly talk show for MSNBC when he leaves office in January.

The outspoken governor, who previously was a commentator for NBC's short-lived XFL football league, is in advanced discussions with the third-place cable news network to serve as a host, although there is no final deal, according to people familiar with the situation.

Ventura is a regular guest on MSNBC, which in the last year has adopted a more opinion-driven format.

He's also a popular one: His recent appearance on the network's "Hardball" gave the show its largest number of viewers this year.

An MSNBC spokeswoman said the network does not comment on speculation about programming "until we have something to announce."

A CNN spokeswoman confirmed that the network had met with Ventura but said it ultimately decided that a talk show wouldn't fit with CNN's news-driven mission. Other networks have been talking to the Minnesota governor as well. A spokesman for the governor's office declined to comment.

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