Who Will Meredith Vieira Miss Most on 'TODAY'?
By Rob Shuter Posted May 9th 2011 05:05PM
EXCLUSIVE: Hours after Meredith Vieira announced she would be leaving the 'TODAY' on June 8th, I asked her -- in front of her partners Matt, Ann, Al and Natalie -- who she would miss the most. "The scarecrow," she replied, like Dorothy leaving OZ, before adding that she would miss everyone, "It really is a family."
Meredith took time to answer questions about why she had decided to leave the top-rated morning show and made it clear that recent headlines suggesting it was due to her husband's failing health were not true. "My husband Richard is in good health and that is part of the reason I want to leave," she said. "I want to appreciate our time together."
And although the charming Matt Lauer wouldn't compare his three co-hosts (Katie, Meredith and Ann) he did make it clear he had mixed emotions.
"I have never enjoyed working with anyone more than Meredith," he said. "I'm sorry to see her go, but this is the way it's supposed to be."
Matt expressed how thrilled he was for Ann, whom he said, "has a heart as big as this room." (We were in the studio where NBC broadcasts 'SNL.')
Finally, Ann admitted that she doesn't like change in the morning, even this one, but was excited about her new role. Executive Producer, Jim Bell, who has now had the experience of losing Katie and Meredith, said it best, "yes, Meredith is that wonderful and special. We will miss her terribly," but pointed out that Ann "is one of the best storytellers in this family."
I can't wait for the next chapter!
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