Vieira talks about 'Today,' 'The View,' Couric

Today co-host Vieira sits in her director's chair on the set of the show on Independence Mall, patiently wiating for sound and lighting checks to finish before the show goes live. (Clem Murray / Inquirer)

Meredith Vieira looks remarkably calm as she does her introductions, her teasers for othere stations, a standup talk, and as she simply waits, sitting in her light gray pants suit.


"It's the crew that's doing all the work behind the scenes," she says during a break, getting a chance to answer some questions.  The show's sort of like a duck, she said -- looks peaceful on the surface, but those feet are paddling madly underneath.


"It's fantastic," she says of working on the show. She took over for Katie Couric about two years ago, and enjoys the pace and variety. One minute you're interviewing a presidential candidate, the next you're baking a cake.


She loves the traveling, like going to China and Olympics, and, for personal reasons, because of family roots, going to the Azores. 


"The View" keeps successfully reinventing itself, "most of it very good." A columnist called cohost Joy Behar is the new Edward R. Murrow, for calling out McCain on some of his ads, she said.


What about Couric, who's had less-than-stellar success as the evening anchor for CBS News? “It's impossible to walk into a network whose program is in third place and think anybody is going to turn it around,” she said. But there's always a chance to turn things around. Couric, for example, do a great job in her upcoming interview with Sarah Palin and win over new viewers.


She lives in the New York suburbs with her husband, three kids -- one in college, two in high school -- two cats and a dog, and to unwind likes to run on a jogging path near her home.