Meredith Vieira: The Real Reason You Don't Hear From Her Anymore

Meredith Vieira is undoubtedly one of the most respected journalists and television personalities in America. From her work on TODAY to her long-running co-hosting gig at The View, there's no professional milestone she hasn't reached. And given her professional prowess, it's understandable Vieira's most dedicated fans are wondering why she has receded from public view in recent years.

Of course, there are many reasons why a journalist might hang up their hat. This is true for Vieira, who is dealing with a lot — professionally and personally — even if her breezy demeanor might suggest otherwise. First and foremost, there's the issue of a certain colleague from her past who has been embroiled in public scandal since 2017. We won't divulge too much just yet, but it's probably safe to say this situation has kept her up one too many nights.

Then there's the topic of her home life, which is filled with ups and downs. Although Vieira celebrated a happy personal occasion within the past decade, she was also the support system for a family member going through a tough time. It's a lot for anyone to deal with, even for someone who is grounded like Vieira.

Ready to dig deep into Vieira's slow fade from the national news stage? Sit back and relax as we reveal why you don't hear from Meredith Vieira anymore.

Was Meredith Vieira avoiding the Matt Lauer fallout?

In November 2017, a video surfaced of television personality Matt Lauer making an inappropriate comment to Vieira on the set of TODAY in 2006. Lauer, who was Vieira's co-anchor and friend at the time, made the following remark as she bent over to pick up a stack of papers (via TMZ): "Pretty sweater. Keep bending over like that. It's a nice view." The uncomfortable video leaked on the day Lauer was fired from TODAY for alleged sexual misconduct, according to NBC News.

Vieira didn't immediately address the incident, but she did reflect on it almost two years later in September 2019. Recalling how she felt, Vieira told People, "You could take [that moment] and go, 'Look, now can't you see what you were dealing with?' But I didn't feel that at all." It's possible Vieira didn't take the moment too seriously because she viewed Lauer like a "brother" at the time.

Either way, it seems like Vieira thought the incident amounted to a shameful scandal for Today, and it sure seems like she doesn't want to get too involved in the drama surrounding Lauer, as this is the only time she has addressed this specific incident, as of this writing. And we can't blame her for wanting to move on.

The Matt Lauer scandal left Meredith Vieira in 'shock'

Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer worked together at NBC for five years, during which time they grew to be very close. So when news of Lauer's firing from the network broke in November 2017, you can only imagine how Vieira felt. "I was [in L.A.] and my phone started going off at 4 a.m.," she recalled to People in September 2019. "I didn't know what to make of all of it. It was a shock." And considering Lauer was canned amid allegations of sexual misconduct, it's understandable why she described the moment as a "gut punch."

Lauer's firing also brought up other complicated feelings for Vieira, as she described to the outlet, "There was totally joking around. But I never took it as anything. We were like brother and sister." Hmm.

We don't want to put words in Vieira's mouth, but we suspect all of this is a lot for her to reconcile. How does she make sense of her former "brother" being accused of heinous actions? And how does it feel to second-guess every interaction with a person you trusted? "It's so complicated," Vieira concluded on the Lauer situation. "The whole thing is just sad. And it's been rough in a lot of places with a lot of people."

Of course, Vieira deserves to sort out these complicated feelings in private. And we don't blame her for taking a beat to recover.

Did Meredith Vieira struggle with guilt?

As if the Matt Lauer scandal couldn't get any more disturbing, Meredith Vieira's former assistant, Brooke Nevils, accused the former TODAY co-host of raping her in during the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Lauer and Vieira were there covering the games for NBC, and Nevils had traveled along with her boss for the trip. And one night, as Nevils recalled to journalist Ronan Farrow in his 2019 book, Catch and Kill, she and Vieira ran into Lauer when grabbing drinks at a hotel bar. After the outing was over, Nevils — who admitted to taking six shots of vodka that evening, according to Variety — went to Lauer's room to retrieve her press badge, which he supposedly had taken as a joke. She then returned another time after supposedly being invited by Lauer, which is when the alleged assault occurred. "It was nonconsensual in the sense that I was too drunk to consent," she told Farrow in the book. She also claimed Lauer performed a specific sexual act on her without her consent, which resulted in bodily injury that took "days" to heal.

Vieira hasn't addressed Nevils' claims publicly, but Nevils also told Farrow that she informed Vieira about the alleged rape in 2017. Farrow described Vieira as being "distraught" during the conversation, and she supposedly encouraged Nevils to file a complaint with NBC. And, as Farrow wrote in the book, Vieira supposedly "blamed herself for not doing more to protect Nevils."

Although Vieira isn't at fault here, we understand why she might feel devastated and needs a break.

Meredith Vieira suffered from political anxiety

After the conclusion of the presidential election in November 2016, Vieira revealed that she was suffering from political anxiety that has discouraged her from appearing on television. 

When asked if the election inspired her to return to reporting, Vieira told Variety: "Not really. I didn't want to get back into the fray. This has been a very difficult election cycle for me, and I'm not talking about because Donald Trump won. There was such ugliness that came out. Almost from day one there was something dirty about it, and sad about it, and worrisome. What happened to me is I developed anxiety. I never binge watch stuff, and I started binge watching things. I think I was trying to escape it."

Anyone who's paid even the slightest bit of attention to American politics since the 2016 presidential election can tell you that the "ugliness" Vieira mentioned hasn't abated. Can anyone blame her for wanting to steer clear of it? 

The Meredith Vieira Show tanked

When a celebrity pours their heart and soul into a project that doesn't perform well, their ego tends to get a bit bruised. Case in point: when Vieira's daytime talk show, The Meredith Vieira Show, was cancelled in 2016, she probably needed to take a break from the spotlight to recover.

Although Vieira put a lot of effort into what was supposed to be the pinnacle of her career (she even mirrored the set after her own living room,) the show's ratings were a bit of a disaster. In fact, the market research company Nielsen determined that Vieira's program was "the second least-popular of the 15 current syndicated talk shows on the air" (via Variety) during its second and final season. Ouch.

Considering Vieira hasn't experienced many failures in her life, the show's cancellation and poor ratings likely put her into a bit of a funk professionally. Following The Meredith Vieira Show's end, she left daytime television entirely and hasn't hosted a talk show since, with the exception of a few guest hosting stints here and there.

Meredith Vieira's husband has a chronic illness

Vieira's husband of more than 30 years, fellow journalist Richard Cohen, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1973. Vieira has been vocal about Cohen's difficult illness and how it has affected their marriage.

"I feel cheated sometimes," she said (via People). "We used to run together and go on ski trips or go to the beach. Now, it's very hard for Richard to stand."

As one might imagine, Vieira wants to take advantage of Cohen's health before his chronic disease progresses even further. Multiple sclerosis gets worse with age, according to Health Line, and Cohen is about 70 years old at the time of this writing. Vieira admitted that she left her high-profile job at Today in 2011 so that she could spend quality time with Cohen before things took a turn for the worse. "I was more leaving because he's healthy. So why not while we are able to enjoy life?" she told Good Housekeeping

Of course, this diagnosis affects Vieira on a personal level, too. "Certainly he's allowed to vent, because he's got chronic illness," she explained to People in September 2019. "But I am too. Because there are days I can't stand it and the limitations it puts on the entire family. It's good to say it. But we don't dwell."

Although Vieira doesn't let Cohen's health prevent her from appearing on TV, it's probably fair to say it makes her more choosy when it comes to taking on projects.

Meredith Vieira's career took a toll on her health, too

Working the daytime television circuit can take a major toll on your health, which is a reality Vieira knows all too well. She has admitted that her grueling schedule on Today quickly became detrimental to her well-being, telling Good Housekeeping: "Sleep deprivation is a bad thing. When you're tired all the time, you just don't feel well. It's easy to gain weight; it's easy to get depressed. And there's anxiety ... all of those things really started to weigh on me, and I thought, Is it worth risking my health? I don't think so."

The good news: Vieira is now taking better care of herself away from the public eye. She told Parade, "I try to eat as healthy as I can. I exercise every day, but I want to avoid hurting something. I do Pilates and understand the value of strength training and having good balance. Yoga is good for centering. I do need to be outside and in nature, because I'm an earth sign."

And when she's not exploring the great outdoors, Vieira is enjoying small pleasures such as walking her dog around the neighborhood. Following her departure from Today, she told People, "I'm looking forward to getting up in the morning and walking in my flip-flops with our dog Jasper to this incredible little bakery nearby. I'm looking forward to finding myself again." 

Family is the most important thing to Meredith Vieira

It's no secret that Vieira's hectic work schedule made it difficult for her to spend quality time with Cohen and their three children. "I was spending very little time focused on my family. It just stopped feeling right," she told HuffPost.

When Vieira saw an opportunity to relax with her family after leaving Today in 2011, she took it. Vieira explained on the show (recapped via the New York Daily News): "I've really had a great time, but time is one of those weird things, you can never get enough of it, and it just keeps ticking away, and I know that I want to spend more of mine with my husband Richard, and my kids, Ben, Gabe and Lily."

Although Vieira briefly revived her television career in 2014 for her short-lived talk show, she's now fully committed to "living in the moment" at home with her loved ones. She told Closer in 2017"I see life very much not in a pessimistic or fatalistic way, but more of a live-in-the-moment way. It's really about just appreciating where you are and valuing it. And in that way, every day is great!"

Meredith Vieira is focused on this adorable life chapter

As time has gone on for Meredith Vieira, she has experienced many heartwarming life events, like the engagement of her son, Gabe Cohen. Vieira opened up about the happy occasion in an April 2019 co-hosting appearance on TODAY, gushing over Cohen's flair for romance and how much she likes her future daughter-in-law, Allison Flicker. "He wrote a book to Alli," the game show host revealed about the sweet proposal. "It was so beautiful and it was attached to the harness of the dog, who walked it out from this little lake. They were hiding. The dog and a couple of friends." Vieira also shared how Cohen used her late mother's ring to pop the question.

Although these details are all very adorable, you're probably wondering how they fit into Vieira's break from the public eye. The answer? Potential grandkids. "I am Googling now nicknames for grandma," she said. "I have to say I am. Grammy, Nana, Mimi, Grams." Some might argue Vieira is jumping the gun here, but she's allowed to feel excitement about the future. And it sounds like this is where her focus is for the time being.

Charity work is a big part of Meredith Vieira's life

In recent years, Vieira has focused the bulk of her attention on charity work. In fact, her low-key Twitter presence mostly centers around the causes she supports, such as Project Sunshine, an organization that meets the "non-medical, social-emotional needs of children dealing with illnesses," according to the charity's website.

Obviously, supporting great causes takes a lot of time and work behind-the-scenes. Vieira told Fresh 102.7 in 2012: "I've been actually very busy, believe it or not. Because all the things that I couldn't do when I was doing The Today Show, I committed to ... a lot of it is charity work and then suddenly you look at your calendar and everyday you're doing something. But it's been wonderful."

While Vieira might get photographed attending a charity luncheon or event here and there, most of her time these days is probably spent supporting deserving organizations behind the scenes.   

Meredith Vieira probably won't be 'liking' your posts

It's common knowledge these days that social media savviness is a must-have when you're a celebrity, but by the looks of it, Meredith Vieira couldn't care less about entertaining fans on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, at least where it concerns her personal life. (And according to some research, Vieira might be onto something by logging off of social media.)

At the time of this writing, she has not posted anything on Instagram related to her home life since 2014, last sharing a photo of her dog, Jasper, and the same goes for Twitter. But just because Vieira isn't posting shots of her family on the regular, it doesn't mean she's averse to using social media. The journalist frequently shares videos and snaps related to her career projects, especially where it concerns her game show, 25 Words or Less. Or she uses it to promote documentaries she executive produces, like After the Murder of Albert Lima.

So if you're itching for more behind-the-scenes glimpses into Vieira's life, chances are you'll be waiting for a long time.

Meredith Vieira is killing the game show biz

In an interesting turn-of-events, Meredith Vieira stepped down from the national news stage to try her hand at hosting a game show, Fox Television Stations' 25 Words or Less. Although this might seem like a random choice, don't forget Vieira once hosted Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, which she left in 2013. What's more? The journalist's skills surprisingly come in handy in this area, as she explained to The Los Angeles Times: "I thought what made me an effective host was the fact that I was a journalist — I knew how to draw contestants out. I knew how to relax them."

It turns out Vieira is so good at her post-journalism job, Fox Television Stations renewed the show for Season 2 in November 2019, as Deadline reported. Translation: Vieira is too busy killing it in the game show department to hold court with the public.

In addition to her work on 25 Words or Less, Vieira has enjoyed co-hosting at her old stomping grounds aka The View and TODAY. And although it seems Vieira is willing to make cameos on her former shows from time to time, it's clear hosting 25 Words or Less is her main focus.

Meredith Vieira stepped behind the camera

In 2016, Meredith Vieira executive produced the Tower, a documentary about the first mass school shooting in the United States. Although it might surprise some fans that Vieira joined the project given its serious and heavy tone, she took it on because she wanted to start a conversation about gun-control in America, according to Parade

What's also interesting about Vieira's work on the doc is that she opted for a behind-the-scenes role that took her out of the public eye. Instead of narrating the doc, for example, Vieira chose to give other people involved with the project a chance to shine. 

By the way, if you think she's itching to get back in front of the camera anytime soon, think again. Vieira told Parade, "I'd love to do more projects like Tower. I like different ways of approaching storytelling, and not always with such heavy journalism. I have a kooky side too. I'm not ready to commit to one particular thing and sign a contract. I'm enjoying this time now, and want to see where it all takes me while I'm open to new things. I'm very lucky to have the luxury to sit back a little bit and maybe do some traveling."

Vieira made good on this promise when she executive-produced After the Murder of Albert Lima, a November 2019 documentary about a man seeking justice for his murdered father. To us, it seems like Vieira has found her niche.

Get ready to see more of Meredith Vieira soon

In May 2017, Deadline reported that Meredith Vieira would executive produce Paramour, a movie inspired by the true story of BMW heiress Susanne Klatten. The film, starring talented actress Kristin Scott Thomas, will center around Klatten's passionate affair with a nefarious character named Helg Sgarbi. Filming is expected to start in 2018, so it's likely that the movie will be released in late 2018 or early 2019.

Considering Paramour is a more high-profile project in comparison to Tower, it's likely Vieira will do a lot of promotion for the film. And who knows? Maybe she'll even grace a red carpet or two in the future.