After 11 seasons with the syndicated version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, host Meredith Vieira has given her final answer: She's leaving the show.
A spokesperson for Disney/ABC Television told Reuters, "It's the final year of Meredith's contract. She has chosen to move on and pursue other opportunities. We are searching for a new host."
There is no word as to who will replace Vieira, but the newscaster is pretty clear she is sticking with NBC for her next venture. After leaving The Today Show in June 2011, she has remained loyal to the network by working as a special correspondent for NBC News as well as appearing on their 2012 London Olympics coverage.
The 59-year-old gave a statement to the New York Times on Thursday about her departure. She said, "It’s been a great 11 years. I am about to embark on a new adventure with NBC and I have a digital venture which will be announced shortly. This just seemed like the right time to make the move.”
Reportedly, she is going to have her own YouTube channel that covers softer news and lifestyle stories. However, that news has not been officially announced.
During her tenure at the syndicated game show, she won two Emmys for best game show host and she is the longest reigning female game show host in television history. Vieira started on the show as a celebrity contestant when Regis Philbin hosted the prime time version of the show. She took over the host slot when it was reformatted for daytime television in 2002.
Once Disney/ABC Television picks her replacement, the new host will start in the fall with the next season.
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