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Vieira to Host Syndicated Millionaire

Spurning advances from CBS, Meredith Vieira has agreed to stay on ABC's The View and become host of the syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Vieira made the announcement Tuesday on The View.

"I'm just so excited that it's happening," Vieira said, as The View co-hosts Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Lisa Ling and Star Jones looked on.

ABC had reportedly dangled the Millionaire slot before Vieira when it became clear that CBS was interested in her as a replacement for Bryant Gumbel at "The Early Show."

The daily Who Wants to Be a Millionaire begins airing in the fall. The first two choices for host — Regis Philbin and Rosie O'Donnell — had turned the job down.

"It's the first show that my family and I sat together, all of us, to watch. So I've been in love with it as a parent," she said.

Terms were not disclosed. One source close to the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Vieira would earn around $5 million a year, a jump from her reported $500,000 salary from doing The View alone.

ABC was able to make the complicated deal because it co-produces The View and owns Buena Vista Television, which produces Millionaire.

CBS had been waiting for Vieira's decision, and now must look elsewhere for Gumbel's replacement. The timing makes it likely that a permanent host for CBS' third-rated morning news show won't be known when Gumbel works his final day on May 17.

Tom Bergeron will be the first guest host after Gumbel leaves, but the host of Hollywood Squares is considered a long shot for the permanent slot at a show produced by CBS News.