Phil Donahue

Phil Donahue is the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show. The television program, also known as Donahue, was the first talk show format that included audience participation. In the 1980s, at the height of the Cold War, Donahue and Russian journalist Vladimir Pozner co-hosted a series of televised discussions, known as the U.S.–Soviet Space Bridge, featuring average citizens of the Soviet Union and the United States. It was the first event of its kind in broadcasting history. While the countries had been locked in a state of mutual mistrust, Donahue said, “We reached out instead of lashed out.”

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