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Rising in the ranks at WHIO, Donahue reached a point where he was co-anchoring the nightly news and hosting other daily programs, until he left the station in June 1967.Marlo Hampton answered questions on what she does for a living, if she has a sugar daddy and the most expensive thing a man has brought her. How does she pay for all of the very expensive designer clothing that she’s always wearing? On Sunday night, during her appearance on Andy Cohen’s talk show co-star and good friend Ne Ne Leakes, Marlo answered those questions and more.Donahue enjoyed a wide range of activities as a child, including baseball and dance lessons. Edward High School in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, he played for the school band and drew cartoons for its newspaper.Despite mediocre grades, he was admitted to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, earning his bachelor's in business administration in 1957.Donahue then became a newscaster for WHIO radio and television in Dayton, Ohio, where he interviewed union leader Jimmy Hoffa.In 1963 he began hosting , a radio phone-in talk show with a primarily female audience.“I realized during the commercials that these people in the audience were asking better questions than I was.So about the third or fourth show, I went out in the audience and it saved us.
When the housewives arrived to her home, they all told her that the place was beautiful.There would've been no Donahue show without that studio audience.”“There's a lot of ego gratification here.My name is on the program — I'm the leader of the band. I don't have to walk down the center of an issue like Tom Brokaw does.Donahue went on to have numerous high-profile guests over the years, including Ronald Reagan, Nelson Mandela and Jane Fonda.
However, he remained most popular for his devotion to controversial issues, touching on matters of women's rights, homosexuality and misdeeds of the Catholic Church. Phil Donahue's format paved the way for subsequent successful talk show hosts such as Geraldo Rivera, Sally Jessy Raphael and Oprah Winfrey — the latter, having also started her broadcast talk show in Chicago, paid homage specifically to the pioneering talk show host, saying "if there hadn't been a Phil, there wouldn't have been a me." Unfortunately, the same talk show hosts he inspired were the ones that brought about his downfall, as Donahue began losing viewers to Winfrey and Raphael, and later to more controversial talk programs like alongside other popular hosts such as Rivera, Raphael, Montel Williams and Ricki Lake.
He won his first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host in 1977, and by 1979 the show was enjoying syndication in more than 200 markets. With his intelligent, informative daytime talk show style, Donahue's influence is more noticeable with every bold talk show that hits the airwaves.