Dec 29

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December 29, 1989: Jane Pauley Leaves The Today Show

Jane PauleyOn this day in 1989, Jane Pauley announced that she was leaving The Today Show. The departure marked the end of an era for the number-one morning show in America.

Pauley hosted the show with Tom Brokaw from 1976 to 1981. He then left to be the anchor of the NBC Nightly News and was replaced by Bryant Gumbel. She decided to leave the show to pursue a primetime news opportunity and in June of 1990, Real Life with Jane Pauley debuted and ran for 15 months. She then served as co-anchor of Dateline, which became NBC’s first successful news magazine show.

Deborah Norville, who did not appeal to Today Show viewers, replaced Pauley. In the spring of 1991, she was removed for the much more popular Katie Couric.

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