Meredith Vieira Recalls Leaving '60 Minutes' (VIDEO)

12/06/2011 03:35 pm ET

Meredith Vieira experienced a blast from the past on Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show on Tuesday. The former "Today" co-host recalled her controversial departure from "60 Minutes" in 1991.

Cooper, who is a part-time "60 Minutes" correspondent, asked Vieira about her decision to leave CBS' legendary news magazine show. At the time, Vieira had a newborn baby and another child on the way. She left the show after creator Don Hewitt declined her request to continue as a part-time correspondent.

"It was easy to say that I was leaving," Vieira recalled. "I didn't lose any sleep which is the oddest thing cause it's the only job in this business that I ever truly, truly wanted."


Family has been a top priority for Vieira, who left "Today" earlier this year to spend more time with her husband and children. Back then though, her departure from "60 Minutes" drew fire from critics who said that she was "putting women behind."

Indeed, her departure was a contentious affair that spawned a feud between Vieira and the show. Vieira spoke out about her dismissal, while Don Hewitt charged that "nobody" remembered her stories.

Below, see a vintage clip of Vieira reporting for "60 Minutes." Vieira was interviewing casino magnate Steve Wynn when he casually threatened to strangle her, and later walked off the set.


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