Donahue and Cavett to say goodbye to talks shows


January 18, 1996

Phil Donahue, who invented the issue-driven daytime talk show, then watched his ratings slip while low-brow imitators outperformed him, is calling it quits at the end of the season.

A nine-time Emmy Award winner as outstanding host, Mr. Donahue will continue to work on TV specials and new projects in broadcasting and cable, his syndicator, Multimedia Entertainment Inc., announced yesterday.

Seen in more than 45 countries, "Donahue" marked its 25th anniversary in 1992. It has won 20 national Emmys and broadcasting's prestigious Peabody award.

Dick Cavett has also opted out of his talk show on cable TV's CNBC. Mr. Cavett, 59, did not elaborate on his decision against renewing the 6-year-old show, and made no statement yesterday.

Christopher Reeve treated for blood-pressure swings

"Superman" star Christopher Reeve, paralyzed since a horseback riding accident last May, said yesterday that he had been admitted to the hospital to be treated for erratic blood pressure.

In a statement, Mr. Reeve said he had autonomic dyrseflexia, a condition that causes blood pressure to swing from high to low and if not treated can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

"My blood pressure has been stabilized and I am in no danger," said Reeve, 42. "I look forward to going home shortly."

Jackson sighting sets eatery on its ear

Even jaded New Yorkers got flustered by what they swear was a Michael Jackson sighting at the Fashion Cafe. "I'm too cool to hound a celebrity, but wow!" said a waiter at the cafe.

The superstar's publicist Lee Solters said he did not know where Jackson was Tuesday night, but onlookers swore it was him. The man entered without fanfare, his face covered and wearing a hooded black parka.

"He was just scoping the place out," said the waiter, Christopher Cunningham. He didn't sit down or anything."

Enid Bonner, who supervises the restaurant's boutique, was still stunned an hour later. "It was like a UFO sighting."

Gunshots greet Buffett's seaplane in Jamaica waters

Jimmy Buffett's seaplane was shot at by Jamaican police who apparently thought drug traffickers were landing in the sea off this Caribbean nation's west coast.

The musician was not on board the plane, and no one was hurt in Tuesday's incident, Commissioner Col. Trevor MacMillan said.

Acting on an anonymous tip, police mistakenly believed the plane was involved in drug trafficking and opened fire, he said.


Today in history: Jan. 18

In 1912, English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had gotten there first. (Scott and his party died on the way home.)

Today's birthdays

Movie director John Boorman is 63. Singer-songwriter Bobby Goldsboro is 55. Actor-director Kevin Costner is 41.

Betty boom

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