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Meredith Vieira quit 'Today' show to sleep in

June 2, 2011 |  5:04 pm

Meredithvieira Meredith Vieira says she quit her "Today" show job over her 2:30 a.m. wake up call — because apparently in Meredith's world, losing valuable beauty sleep wasn't worth the millions.

"If I get up at 4 a.m., I'm facing 20 emails and I don't handle that well," she tells People. "I'd rather absorb the material, read it thoroughly, feed the cats and dog, get the kitchen in order. I have to leave the mother's manual for everything. I need to feel on top of the day, and the only way I can do that is by getting up at 2:30 a.m. I always thought, if I could've figured out a way to cut corners a little bit, it would've been easier, but I couldn't."

The newswoman also addressed rumors that she's exiting to take care of her husband, Richard Cohen, who has multiple sclerosis. She says all the talk of "poor Meredith" simply isn't accurate.

"Richard said, 'What is this? You never tend to me! You won't even get me a cup of coffee!' " she joked.  "I said, 'I know! This scam is working!' But enough gets to be enough."

However in the end, it is all about the family, including Cohen and children Ben, Gabe and Lily. "We don't know from day to day what might happen," she told the magazine. "So why not enjoy life now? It's very precious, and anyone living with any kind of illness knows that. Health is fleeting, and you need to celebrate it while you still have it."

Vieira will say her final goodbyes to Matt Lauer and the "Today" show gang June 8, when Ann Curry will fill her shoes as co-host.

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-- Emily Christianson

Photo: Ann Curry, left, and Meredith Vieira. Credit: Richard Drew / Associated Press.

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