Zucker predictably shrugged off the notion of passing over Ann Curry and other NBC personalities to hire Vieira, saying "When you have the chance to snag a hall of famer for your show, you do it." (wonder what that makes longtime Today newsreader Curry?)
Legend in her own mind award goes to Curry, who stressed that "I am a hard news woman and that's what I love the best....This will allow me to go out and do big breaking news stories and bring them back to this program." (um, yeah. What were those big breaking news stories you've done, again?)
Despite having built her own early fame as an anchor on Today, making a historic decision to leave there and become the first female network news anchor on ABC in 1976, View creator Barbara Walters offered no advice while Vieira was considering the move and only really talked to her about it a couple of weeks ago -- despite widespread speculation on Vieira's status for months. "I don't think she wanted to feel she was influencing me at all...She called us at 6 o' clock in the morning yesterday and said 'If you would have asked me, I would have told you to go,' " Vieira said. (Riiight.)
Hang in there Millionaire fans -- Vieira says she still doesn't know what will become of her work on the show, given that she has a two-year contract, still. Zucker had to reach back to Hugh Downs to cite somebody who hosted a game show while anchoring Today -- back in the Plestiocene Era. I'm guessing it would be a kick for her to get checks cut by Disney (owners of ABC and Millionaire syndicator Buena Vista Television) and NBC at the same time.