Meredith Vieira is an American journalist, television personality and game show host best known for hosting NBC's Today, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (in syndication) and the daytime talk show The View, from 1997-2006.
Vieira attended the Lincoln School, a Quaker all-girls school in Providence. She graduated magna cum laude with a degree in English from Tufts University and began her career in 1975 as a news announcer for WORC radio in Worcester, Massachusetts.
She began a career in television working as a local reporter and anchor at WJAR-TV Providence, eventually making her way into the newsroom at WCBS-TV in New York City where she was an investigative reporter from 1979 to 1982.
Vieira first gained national recognition as a CBS reporter based in their Chicago bureau from 1982 to 1984. She later became a correspondent for nationwide news-magazine shows including West 57th (1985–89) and 60 Minutes (1989–91).
Her final assignment at CBS was as co-anchor of the CBS Morning News (1992–93). She moved to ABC initially as a correspondent for the news-magazine show Turning Point (1993–97).
Vieira served as the moderator and co-host of ABC's The View from its debut in 1997 until the spring of 2006. As moderator, she introduced "Hot Topics," guided conversations, and broke to commercials. She began each live episode saying "Hello! And welcome to The View!"
Vieira was widely regarded as liberal and outspoken on most topics, including controversial ones such as politics and her sex life. Vieira's final appearance on The View was June 9, 2006. Her co-hosts gave her a roast to commemorate her final appearance.
In 1999, Vieira began hosting Lifetime's Intimate Portrait, which chronicles the lives of women in art, entertainment, politics, business, science, journalism and sports.
Vieira has hosted the American syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire since 2002 — a spin-off of the primetime show hosted by Regis Philbin. The daytime quiz show is syndicated by Buena Vista Television, a division of ABC.
In 2005, Vieira won a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Game Show Host for her role on Millionaire. She was a celebrity contestant on the Regis Philbin-hosted version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire before she hosted the syndicated version.
The day after Katie Couric announced on April 5, 2006, that she would be stepping down as co-anchor of Today, Vieira accepted an offer to succeed Couric beginning September 13, 2006. The following day, Vieira announced on The View that she would be leaving the show.
It was stated that she would continue her hosting duties of Millionaire for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 season, should the show be renewed.
As part of her contract with Millionaire, Vieira agreed not to appear on any competing television networks during hours that would conflict with the airing of the game show. In effect, Vieira is forbidden from appearing on-camera for the third or fourth hours of Today until her contract with Millionaire expires.
Vieira joined 60 Minutes in 1989 following the birth of her first child. Don Hewitt, executive producer of 60 Minutes, allowed her to work part-time for two seasons so she could care for her child. After that, she would work full-time.
But after two years, she became pregnant again and asked to continue the part-time arrangement. Hewitt declined her request, deciding instead to hire someone who would work full-time.
Her departure from the show garnered headlines, as a national debate started to take place about whether women could balance both family and career.
She also turned down opportunities to co-host The Early Show on CBS and ABC's Good Morning America when her children were young.
Vieira talks about her family and career decisions in the book Divided Lives: The Public and Private Struggles of Three American Women by Elsa Walsh.
Vieira married Emmy-award winning CBS News journalist Richard M. Cohen on 14 June 1986. They reside with their three children in Westchester County, New York.
Cohen has had multiple sclerosis since he was 25 years old, and has had two bouts of colon cancer, one in 1999 and one a year later.
In 2014 she began hosting her own daytime talk show, The Meredith Vieira Show.