ABC’s Donaldson not defecting to MSNBC

Anchor to stay on radio, possibly TV

ABC News vet Sam Donaldson won’t be crossing over to cable.

Discussions between the former “This Week” co-anchor and New Jersey-based MSNBC have broken down.

“I am pleased to say that Sam will remain a full-time member of the news group,” said ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider, who added Donaldson could be reporting across all media in the event of war with Iraq.

Donaldson hosts a program on ABC News Radio, and is expected to report on potential hostilities in the Middle East for the radio and possibly television.

Donaldson, who last month asked permission from his ABC bosses to talk to NBC prexy Neal Shapiro and MSNBC, was not available for comment.

One person close to Donaldson said he might have felt discouraged by MSNBC’s axing of Phil Donahue, but on the whole, it came down to the two sides’ inability to hammer out an agreement.

Earlier this week, the net canceled its top-rated, 6-month-old program “Donahue,” which featured the ballyhooed return of the veteran yakker.

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