Star Jones Reynolds, Meredith Vieira React To Rosie’s Announcement

LOS ANGELES (April 26, 2007) – Former “View” co-hosts Star Jones Reynolds and Meredith Vieira responded to Rosie O’Donnell’s announcement she is leaving the show, in separate interviews with Access Hollywood on Thursday.

At an event honoring Matt Lauer and Debra L. Lee on Thursday night in New York, Vieira (the former co-host and moderator of “The View” who O’Donnell took over for in 2006) told Access, “I actually was surprised. I heard rumblings in the past that she may not stay beyond the one year. The show has done so incredibly well and it’s revitalized itself and she’s put a lot of great energy into it. And it appears that she’s having a really good time and I thought probably she would stay on. I don’t know exactly what happened. I take her on her word that they couldn’t reach an agreement on the contracts, and as she says, ‘It’s showbiz. That happens.’” The “Today” co-host added, “She will do great and ‘The View’ will do great. I spent nine years there and the people in front of the cameras and behind-the-scenes are phenomenal at what they do and they will be fine.”

In talking about what’s next for O’Donnell, Vieira said, “I think she’s ready to do her own thing too. I think she’s doing ‘Nip/Tuck’ and I believe she’s writing a book. I’m sure there are so many things that Rosie can do.”

Meanwhile, Jones Reynolds, another former co-host of “The View,” told Access, “I actually found out on the plane. I was flying in yesterday and my seatmate said, ‘Did you hear that Rosie is leaving ‘The View?’’ Jones Reynolds, who was on “The View” from 1997 to 2006, went on to say, “I had no idea and when I landed, of course, I found out that she announced it.” She added, “I wish her the very best in what she is doing next as I do for all the ladies over there, and I know whatever they do next is going to be great.”

When asked about the possibility of coming back to “The View” for a guest host role, she said, “No, I have a job. It’s going to start later in the summer at Court TV. I’m going to be pretty busy myself.”

Lauer, who was being honored by The Museum of the Moving Image, reacted to O’Donnell’s departure saying, “Completely caught me by surprise. I had no idea. I think everybody was surprised. Clearly, she generated a lot of buzz and people were saying things about the show whether it was all good or not, but to have her walk away at this time. I just kind of stand back and I’m a little bit surprised.”

When asked about possibility of O’Donnell joining NBC in September, as they extend the “Today” show with a fourth hour, Lauer added, “I think she may be a little controversial Lauer added, “I think she may be a little controversial for the fourth hour of the ‘Today’ show. With a new show, we kind of have to walk a little bit of a tighter line than she’s used to walking. It might work well for us; I don’t know how well it would work for Rosie.”

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