Anderson Cooper Anderson Cooper

Anderson Cooper is nearing a deal for a syndicated daytime talk show, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 43-year-old 360 host, who's been with CNN for nine years, is negotiating for a program that would be pitched to stations next year as a possible Oprah Winfrey replacement. The show would expand upon Cooper's hard-news background, covering celebrity stories and social issues. Cooper is in negotiations with Telepictures Productions, the same studio behind The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

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Since gaining notice for his coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Indian Ocean tsunami, there has been speculation about Cooper's future at CNN. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported that he met with CBS, where he is already a special correspondent for 60 Minutes.

After years of declining ratings and firing longtime domestic President Jon Klein on Friday, can CNN really afford to lose one of its biggest stars?

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If Cooper does leave CNN for syndicated pastures, it would be a hit to the lagging cable news network. CNN has been third behind MSNBC and Fox News in part because of the network's lack of news-making personalities like Cooper. Campbell Brown stepped in May because of her dwindling ratings and the network will lose its most famous name — Larry King — at the end of the year.

CNN's weekday average ratings have slipped 36 percent since just last year, and its planning a major lineup overhaul that includes former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's new show, Parker Spitzer.

It also remains to be seen what kind of audience a news personality like Cooper would draw in daytime. However, Barbara Walters and Meredith Vieira have been able to parlay their serious journalism backgrounds into successful daytime gigs in recent years.