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Ashleigh Banfield wonders if Katie Couric ‘derailed’ her profession: ‘It broke my soul’


Ashleigh Banfield continues to be reeling from Katie Couric’s explosive new memoir.

The tell-all has the NewsNation host re-examining her time at NBC and questioning whether or not her onetime idol was behind her ousting — which she stated occurred with out rationalization.

“I’ll say this, I got a sense yes,” Banfield, 53, told TMZ of Couric’s meddling. “I was never sure. Let’s not forget, I really didn’t feel like I was a big deal.”

Within the former “Today” show host’s tome, “Going There,” which has ruffled feathers all over the media landscape, Couric took purpose at everybody from Deborah Norville to Martha Stewart and “Good Morning America” rival Diane Sawyer. (The e-book will likely be launched by Little, Brown and Firm Oct. 26.)

Turning her pen to Banfield, Couric admitted to giving her the chilly shoulder as a result of to mentor her would have been “self-sabotage” and there was at all times somebody youthful and cuter developing.

Ashleigh Banfield during an interview with host Jay Leno in 2000.
Ashleigh Banfield throughout an interview with host Jay Leno in 2000.
NBCU Picture Financial institution/NBCUniversal through

Identified for her frosted hair and darkish glasses, Banfield joined MSNBC in 2000 and shortly turned a rising star on the community. She stated that she shouldn’t have been a risk to Couric, who was the golden woman.

“She was everything. She made so much money, and she was so important,” Banfield instructed TMZ. “And she was so good at her job, and I looked up to her, so I didn’t believe it was possible that anything could have been going on behind the scenes to derail me there . . . I heard a lot of rumors. I really wondered if this is it. It’s really hard to process this, I’m not going to lie.”

Banfield famous that she was on the prime of her recreation whereas on the Peacock community when she seemingly fell out of favor with the honchos.

Going There book cover

“I had just gotten back from Afghanistan. I had a million viewers a night at 9 o’clock. I had been on Leno and Letterman and Carson Daly and ‘The Daily Show.’ ”

She had been the topic of glowing profiles in magazines corresponding to Vogue, and the New York Publish touted her as a successor to Couric.

“Then with no warning or explanation, it was just all over. Everything disappeared. They canceled me,” she claimed to TMZ. “They took away my office, my phone, my desk. I wandered aimlessly, literally looking for a desk to sit at for about 10 months.”

Banfield stated they ultimately cleared out a tape closet for her to work out of till her contract petered out, and she or he left in 2004.

“So I’ve been going over the last 20 years of why my career just derailed so quickly with no explanation from NBC,” she stated, calling her ouster “an emotional gut-punch” that she nonetheless isn’t over.

Ashleigh Banfield continues to react to Katie Couric's memoir "Going There"
Ashleigh Banfield continues to react to Katie Couric’s memoir “Going There”
Getty Pictures

“It broke my heart. It broke my heart. It broke my soul,” she instructed TMZ, including that the ’90s have been a troublesome time for females.

“We always felt like we were on the edge of being trashed and cast aside. Ageism for women was so palpable,” she stated, including that the cutthroat environment made her really feel she wanted Botox as early as her 30s.

Her profession’s demise at NBC has lengthy fueled media-world water cooler speak. And in 2007, Banfield attributed her falling inventory to a controversial speech she gave at Kansas State College in regards to the Iraq Conflict protection.

“I sent out a cautionary note to all my colleagues covering this conflict and chastened the press corps not to wave the banner and cover warfare in a jingoistic way,” she told Adweek. “It didn’t sit well with my employers at NBC — who are no longer there. I think they overacted. I was banished. I sat in the outfield for a long time.”

That is the second time Banfield has spoken out in regards to the e-book, through which Couric, 64, wrote, “I’d heard her father was telling anyone who’d listen that she was going to replace me.”

In a monologue earlier this week, Banfield said at the time, her father was senile and living in a facility.

“I want to correct the record here because you went after my Dad,” she stated.



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