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More Details on Koppel Departure

Howard Kurtz updates with a bunch of details about Koppel’s departure:

“I really don’t think there’s anything else at ABC I would find as interesting or as challenging,” Koppel said in an interview, adding: “Of course it’s difficult. . . . It will be very hard to leave friends and colleagues behind. But in the words of an old song, you’ve gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.”

Network sources say the 65-year-old Koppel was offered the opportunity to become host of ABC’s “This Week,” the Sunday morning program that has struggled in the ratings under George Stephanopoulos, but was not enthusiastic about joining the crowded Sunday field and turned it down….

Asked if officials at the Disney-owned network, who tried to replace him in 2002 with comedian David Letterman, were creating a situation they knew he would reject, Koppel said: “I can’t entirely disagree with that interpretation. I think David knew when he cited those conditions that they would not be exciting to me.” But he said he did not feel that he was being forced out.

What we’re wondering over at Fishbowl HQ: What will this mean for the future of ‘This Week’? The switch of Koppel to Sunday morning and Stephanopoulos to weeknights had seemed a match made in heaven, but with that opportunity gone, what will ABC do?

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