Rosie O'Donnell to Leave TV Show

ByABC News
November 20, 2000, 9:56 PM

N E W  Y O R K, Nov. 20 -- Rosie ODonnell may be gaining a magazine, butlosing her talk show.

The daytime talk show host, during an appearance on NBCs Today to promote her new association with McCalls magazine, hedged atfirst but then indicated she would end The Rosie ODonnell Showwhen her contract expires in spring 2002.

A sensation upon its debut in 1996, ODonnells show has saggedin the ratings this year, and the one-time Queen of Nice has beenin a few political dustups. She is committed to her show throughthe next season.

Still Not Final

She told NBCs Katie Couric on Friday that she was leaningtoward not continuing.

Why dont you just say, Im not going to do it? Couricsaid. Then youd really make news this morning.

ODonnell replied: All right, Im not going to do it.

Couric gave ODonnell a chance to escape, saying she didnt wantto pressure her into making a decision too early. ODonnell didntback down, and said that an announcement is expected in January.

Warner Brothers has been wonderful to me, she said. They,of course, would love for me to continue. Its beneficial to me, asit is to them. But at some point you have to make those decisionsin your life.

Scott Rowe, spokesman for show syndicators Warner BrothersTelevision, said that the company never discusses contractnegotiations, but were hopeful that Rosie will return.

Laura Mandel, a spokeswoman for the show, said, Our stance isthat nothings been decided.

ODonnell was a clear third in the talk show ratings peckingorder behind Oprah Winfrey and Jerry Springer as recently as thisspring. But this fall, her ratings have dropped by 19 percent, andshe has slipped behind Regis Philbin and Maury Povich into a tiefor fifth with Montel Williams.