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"The View" show. Photo: Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images

Barbara Walters feared hiring Gayle King as a moderator for "The View" in 2007 because she worried King's good friend Oprah Winfrey would somehow "hijack" the show, according to an excerpt from the new book "Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of 'The View,'" by Variety's New York bureau chief Ramin Setoodeh.

The bottom line: "The thing that made King famous — her connection to Oprah — also worked against her with 'The View,'" Setoodeh writes. "Barbara worried that Oprah might try to somehow hijack 'The View,' leading to another ugly turf war after Rosie O'Donnell."     

Details: The excerpts say that in 2007, O'Donnell was departing "The View" after a tumultuous year as the moderator, leaving the show's ringleader Barbara Walters with a spot to fill. The two frontrunners were, according to the book, Whoopi Goldberg and "CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King.    

  • The book says that producers at "The View" favored King because she was most like the show's original moderator, Meredith Vieira, and they thought she could easily transition between serious and silly stories.
  • It also says that research conducted by show executives indicated that the audience preferred Goldberg, who was also more popular than Walters.
  • The book excerpt quotes the show's former executive producer Bill Geddie as saying: "My feeling with Gayle was — how do I say this in the nicest possibly way, because I love her? ... She came from Oprah's world. Having just been through Rosie, I didn't need someone else telling me how to run the show. And I thought Gayle would be telling me how to run the show. That was my honest opinion."   

Why it matters: The event shows how competitive spots can be for top daytime talk shows, even for some of the best in the businesses.

  • While "The View's" ratings have held steady, many daytime talk shows over the past few years have failed — even those with celebrity hosts.
  • Anderson Cooper, Megyn Kelly, and Katie Couric have all experienced daytime talk show cancellations in the past several years.

What's next: The full book will be published by St. Martin's Press on April 2.

Go deeper

Updated 28 mins ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Iraqis dressed in traditional outfits greet Pope Francis upon his arrival at Erbil airport, the capital of the northern Iraqi Kurdish autonomous region, on March 7. Photo: Safin Hamed/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting northern areas of Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.