Gayle King reveals she turned down ‘opportunity’ to take over Oprah’s show

Gayle King chose to focus on her children rather than to uproot their lives

Gayle King
Gayle King attend the Summer OF OWN Essence Fest Cocktail Party at Legacy Kitchen on July 6, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Peter Forest/Getty Images for OWN)

Gayle King has ascended as a star TV host, currently serving as co-host of CBS This Morning since 2012. However, she recently dropped a shocking revelation about a dream opportunity she turned down, opting to look after her children instead.

King was a guest on the August 13 episode of The Art of the Interview, a digital series hosted by Drew Barrymore. With the conversation revolving around early family aspirations and the pain of their respective divorces, King disclosed to the actress that she was offered a chance to be the successor of her close friend Oprah Winfrey‘s famous daytime talk show.

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The three-time Emmy winner explained that the opportunity came about after Winfrey expressed a strong desire to shift her career path. Winfrey retired in 2011 after her syndicated show aired nationally for 25 years.

“She wanted go to into acting, she wanted to act full-time because she loved acting. So her plan was, you move to Chicago and we’ll incorporate you in the show, so at the end of the year, I can sort of pass the baton,” King told Barrymore.

“And I was really…imagine a huge opportunity. I was really excited about that. And the kids were, you know, we were divorced so they were still young and then I realized that that wouldn’t be fair to them.”

Gayle King
DENVER, COLORADO – MARCH 07: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey speak during Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour presented by WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) at Pepsi Center. (Photo by Tom Cooper/Getty Images for Oprah)

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King and her former husband, William Bumpus, had two children: daughter Kirby and son William Jr. They divorced in 1993 after 11 years of marriage.

Considering how young her kids were at the time of her divorce, King felt it was important that they “feel loved and secure,” and believed taking on the show and moving to Chicago would’ve proved detrimental to them.

“So in the end, I just decided to not take her up on that offer,” King continued.

“But favorite daughter, Kirby, favorite son, Will, their well-being to me was more important than whatever career opportunity I could have had at the time. And I don’t regret that.”

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