Former talk show host Phil Donahue joined MSNBC in 2002, only to be very publicly fired–under controversial circumstances–in 2003. In an interview with The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz, Donahue reveals that before talking with MSNBC, he had discussions with Fox News CEO Roger Ailes about joining that network in a surprising role:
Donahue reveals that before signing with MSNBC in 2002, Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News Channel, called and toyed with the idea of pairing him with the similarly white-haired former Republican House Speaker, Newt Gingrich: “I think he got the hair and thought, ‘Well, this is neat.’ Honestly I think that’s one of the things that motivated him. And I passed.”
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