Star Jones Gone: Freebies Did Her In
It's official, folks. Star Jones is leaving ABC's "The View." Her last day is still being determined, but sources say by next Friday, July 6 or July 13, the ladies will be kissing and hugging her and wheeling out a fat-free cake.
She does not — repeat — does not have any other gig lined up, contrary to other reports this morning. "Her contract is up and she's gone," says a source. "They are working out right now how they will explain it to the public."
I am told that producers for the show had planned to axe Star last fall after the hoopla around her endorsement-plagued wedding. But chief anchor and co-owner Barbara Walters relented. "She felt sorry for her," says an insider.
In the end, though, Walters knew that when Rosie O'Donnell agreed to join the show, Jones was finished.
As for replacements: even though Gayle King wants the job
(and would be good, I think) several guest journalists will fill in the extra chair for the last two weeks of July.
The show goes "dark" until Labor Day with reruns, and there may be no permanent replacement named while O'Donnell settles in.
"They're looking for someone younger than Gayle or even Deborah Roberts," says a source. But the goal will be to find a hot, young African-American journalist whose background is clean as a whistle. Talent agents, start your engines!
Can't we just do away with the show altogether?