GMA alum Joan Lunden recently revealed the real reason she was replaced at the network after a 17-year-long career. The veteran host was allegedly pushed out in 1997 at the age of 47. Although she gave the network an official reason for her departure, it was not the real reason, but to ensure that the network doesn’t look bad. So, why did she have to leave her post back in 1997? Keep reading to find out the details!
Joan Lunden Upset Over Being Replaced By A Younger Host
The American journalist was replaced by a younger Lisa McRee who was 35 at the time. Although the network cited depleting ratings for replacing the host, it had a lot to do with the host’s age. In a conversation with Yahoo! Life, the 72-year-old shared details of her career at Good Morning America.
Joan Lunden explained, “I mean, I was 47 years old. That’s not old. They don’t push men out because they’re 47.”
In a phone call with the president of the network, she said, “I picked up the phone and I called the president of the network and I said, ‘I’m about to do you a very big favor.’”
Joan Lunden Isn’t Disheartened Over Her Unjust Dismissal
Talking to the president she reminded them how NBC let Jane Pauley go and replaced her with Deborah Norville. Following the replacement, the audience was so upset, especially after learning that she was pushed out due to age and replaced with someone younger.
“Like, did you guys not learn anything?” Joan Lunden recalled.
Joan officially retired from GMA citing that “She was tired of the morning shift”. Moreover, she also stated that she wished to spend more time with her family. However, in the interview, she confirmed it was her age. Yet, the NBC correspondent didn’t let the unjust dismissal bring her down.
She said, “I don’t look back. I’m not the kind of person that looks back.”
Joan Praises GMA For Handling Her Pregnancy Well
However, despite slamming the executives for her unfair dismissal, Joan Lunden did praise GMA as well. She praised the network for perfectly handling her maternity experience when she joined the morning show in 1980. Before joining GMA, she previously worked as a local news anchor in NYC. Moreover, just 20 minutes after she learned about her pregnancy with her first child, she got a job offer from GMA.
She revealed how the BTS crew and her co-anchors were extremely accommodating of her newborn daughter, Jamie.
What do you think of GMA replacing Joan Lunden for her age? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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