As the ladies of The View discussed the Leno-Conan situation this morning, Barbara Walters dropped a bombshell: she says that last June, NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker, NBC News President Steve Capus, and Washington Bureau Chief Mark Whitaker met with Walters “and to my amazement, made me an offer to come back to NBC News.” Walters, of course, is a former co-host of Today.
And at my age, it was a very flattering offer…The fact that they would make an offer to someone of my age and consider that I still had years ahead, was something that I think says something about them, and about NBC, and that’s why I’m saying it today.
I chose not to go because I have been very happy at ABC…[But] I thought, ‘What a wonderful way to end a career or take the next step — they want me!’…It was a very difficult decision. I was wrestling with it. And I would have been able to continue to do The View because this is a daytime [show]. I would not have left [The View]…
So I just want to say…they did make me this offer and now I can publicly thank them. And I thank ABC, who were very kind and very relieved when I stayed.
Update: NBC News tells TVNewser, “The idea of Barbara bookending her career at NBC News was appealing to everyone. It was a natural conversation to have with a true broadcast pioneer. We have nothing but enormous respect for Barbara.”