Phil Donahue

12/21/1935 - Present

Inducted 1999


Phil Donahue nurtured a new format for television talk shows involving controversial guests and give-and-take with the audience. The program called the Phil Donahue Show began in Dayton in 1967 on what is now WDTN and ran for 29 years, eventually moving to Chicago in the 1970s. This pioneering version of talk show TV was a cutting-edge form  of broadcasting that would eventually change news and talk show formats. Mr. Donahue credits his Dayton audiences with the intelligence, curiosity and patience to nurture the emerging prototype. Phil Donahue himself is known for his passionate opinions, liberal views and ability to hold the attention of his audience. He has won many awards, including an Emmy, a Peabody and honors from the National Women’s Political Caucus and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination.