Is ‘The View’ Having A Problem Replacing Meghan McCain?

The women of The View seem to be wanting to get off the revolving carousel of co-hosts. After the departure of conservative firebrand Meghan McCain close to six months ago, the show has still not filled her fifth co-host spot permanently. While a conservative voice is needed (as co-host Sonny Hostin told New York in November, a voice that is “not duplicative of anyone else on the panel”), the search seemingly is continuing. While co-hosts like S.E. Cupp, Mia Love, Gretchen Carlson, and Carly Fiorina all filled in, none have quite made the cut to be offered the position full-time. Politico reports that come January, Alyssa Farah will be returning for a second go-round, while both Bari Weiss and former full-time co-host Lisa Ling would be joining the panel to guest host, too.

A former staffer indicates what might be behind some of the struggle to replace McCain:

“They are really looking for a unicorn,” said a former show staffer. “They want someone who is going to fight — but not too hard, because they don’t want it to be ugly and bickering.”

One person who won’t be joining the daytime chat-fest is Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe. The Daily Mail reports that Boothe was interviewed by ABC brass earlier in 2021, but ultimately lost out on the coveted fifth spot at the table-because she refuses to be vaccinated (ABC’s parent company Disney, requires COVID vaccinations for all of their employees). An ABC News source did confirm that Boothe was interviewed along with “dozens and dozens” of other candidates. Boothe apparently put her vaccination stance front & center, making further negotiations a “moot point” and a “non-starter”. She followed up with a controversial column for Newsweek simply titled Why I’m Not Vaccinated. Sources also indicated to Politico that Liberatarian Kat Timpf turned the show down because of a) the show’s reputation with how it treats conservative panelists and b) her own existing contract with Fox. 

Recently, the consistently-buzzed about possible new hire S.E. Cupp appeared with Meghan McCain on Watch What Happens Live, and was asked about the possibility of her off-screen friend joining the chat-fest (she said she thinks “it’s a great platform and I’m not a hater”). For now though, a spokesperson for The View indicated that the show is “on track” to find a replacement for Meghan McCain.

“Our plans are on track as we continue to look for the right person to join our panel of smart, dynamic women,” a spokesperson told TheWrap on Tuesday. “We look forward to welcoming guest co-hosts for return appearances and introducing new names into the mix in the new year.” 

One show insider disclosed to TheWrap that there is no actual hard deadline to pick a permanent successor and that it was always expected to be a 2022 decision.

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