The View Vet Meredith Vieira Says She Hadn't Known Elisabeth Hasselbeck Was Fired

meredith vieira today
(Image credit: nbc press)

A former vocal co-host on The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck returned to the limelight recently thanks to her new book Point of View: A Fresh Look at Work, Faith and Freedom. The memoir is giving Hasselbeck a chance to speak out again about being unceremoniously fired from the female-fronted talk show back in 2013. Oddly enough, her former on-air colleague Meredith Vieira is apparently just finding out that's why Hasselbeck left The View all those years ago.

Meredith Vieira, who left The View in 2006 to take a co-hosting job on NBC's Today, revealed that she holds Elisabeth Hasselbeck in high regard, and went so far as to say Hasselbeck felt like a daughter to her. However, the two women apparently aren't so close that they air out their dirty laundry to one another, as Vieira had this to say to Entertainment Tonight.

I didn't know she'd been fired.

No one can go too hard on judging Meredith Vieira for being out of the loop when it comes to the details of Elisabeth Hasselbeck's exit from The View. Rumors of Hasselbeck's potential firing were seemingly dispelled at the time by The View's Barbara Walters. (Joy Behar also left the show in 2013 for debatable reasons, though she was welcomed back in full after years of being a regular guest host.)

The conjecture was that Hasselbeck was too conservative-leaning for producers, and while those claims were denied back then, Hasselbeck seemed to confirm them herself in her new book, where she claims producers explained they weren't renewing her contract because The View would be going through a slight restructuring to shift the focus away from politics.

Considering Meredith Vieira was already gone from The View for around 7 years whenever Elisabeth Hasselbeck was ousted, it's all the more understandable that she wasn't fully caught up on what her former co-star was up to. Even if she'd never left, though, Vieira says she likely still wouldn't have realized anything was amiss.

Here's how the talk show and game show vet explained her lack of knowledge about work gossip and scandals.

When I did the Today show, I never went to my office. I never went near it because people wore suits and I just thought, 'No good can come of this.' I stayed in my dressing room. I got in at 5 a.m., did the show, got changed and took off, because I wanted to be home or I had [Who Wants to Be a Millionaire] for a certain number of weeks out of the year. So I missed a lot of the intrigue, certainly, with The View, for the same reason. I would do the show and then go home.

Is it possible that Elisabeth Hasselbeck could have literally gotten fired in front of Meredith Vieira without the latter noticing? Probably not, but ABC allegedly wasn't as transparent as that with Hasselbeck's fate anyway.

elisabeth hasselbeck return to the view as guest 2019

Meredith Vieira did touch upon the topic of politics when talking about Elisabeth Hasselbeck's time on The View, saying she was worried that the producers kept trying to force Hasselbeck to be the "conservative voice" on the show. In Vieira's eyes, it was important for Hasselbeck to be able to find her own personal voice upon joining The View's table.

In the midst of that span where Hasselbeck's firing hadn't been confirmed, it was announced she was joining Fox & Friends on the cable channel Fox News Network. She stayed there for two years before leaving to focus more on spending time with family. (An opposite move from what Abby Huntsman did.)

Meanwhile, Meredith Vieira has another game show on the way in the form of the syndicated 25 Words or Less, which will match celebrities and non-celebrities for a word-guessing game where brevity is key. It will debut at some point this fall.

Fans can watch The View, now with Whoopi Goldberg back in the mix, airing every weekday on ABC.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.