Meredith Vieira In 2002: “I’m Not That Much Of A Morning Person, Anyway”

By Brian 

> Update: 3:07pm: An e-mailer says: “Comparing Today to whatever incarnation of the CBS morning show is like comparing apples with gravel. Going to the number one morning show instead of something that gets beat by cartoons is significantly different. And Meredith’s kids are four years older now. Plus, at Today she will earn HUGE amounts of money.”

Read this article carefully. It’s from the Sept. 28, 2002 edition of The Rocky Mountain News. In a story titled “Vieira decides no more news is good news,” Dusty Saunders wrote (with emphasis added):

  “Meredith Vieira has the credentials to climb higher in the world of broadcast journalism. And along with the credentials, she’s had the opportunity.

But here she is, hosting a weekday version of a syndicated game show, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, a former prime-time hit.

The world of news is no longer part of her life.

‘From an emotional perspective, my decision was made on the day of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center,’ Vieria said in a recent phone interview from her New York office.

‘I had left the set of The View. But instead of wanting to go to ground zero, every piece of me wanted to go home to my husband and children. The desire to cover the story didn’t exist.’

Vieira said she understood individuals like Paula Zahn (CNN) who checked on her family and then worked at ground zero. ‘I just didn’t want to do that.’

Earlier this year, Vieira had a concrete offer to gain a higher network news profile. CBS actively sought her as co-anchor of the struggling The Early Show, which badly trails NBC’s Today and ABC’s Good Morning America in audience ratings.

While admitting the financial offer was ‘huge and tempting’ she declined – another indication her news drive was still lacking.

While laughing, Vieira added: ‘I’m not that much of an early morning person, anyway.’

Vieira admits her current lack of enthusiasm for a news career is based on a major desire to be closer to her family. She and her journalist husband Richard Cohen have two sons, 13 and 11, and a daughter, 9…”

The story concluded: “Don’t look for her to return to broadcast news.”