We Finally Understand Why Joan Lunden Disappeared From TV

We Finally Understand Why Joan Lunden Disappeared From TV

After nearly two decades with Good Morning
America, reporter and anchor Joan Lunden quietly left in 1997, leaving many fans wondering
what happened. In addition to her subsequent hosting jobs
and occasional TV appearances, here are some of the things she’s been up to. Starting in 1980 as the co-host of Good Morning
America, Lunden’s was the face millions turned to each morning for the soft news they needed
to start their day off right. In 1997, she left the show. But why would anyone ever leave such a cushy,
well-paying gig? Lunden announced her exit from the show in
May 1997, claiming she wanted to move on in order to “spend mornings with [her] three
daughters.” “For the past seventeen years, she has been
one of the most significant figures in womens’ changing role on television and thus in society.” When she actually departed in September 1997,
Lunden discussed the many opportunities she had been offered, including a syndicated talk
show, a book deal, and even a move into acting. She explained to the Los Angeles Times, “I’ve been offered several scripts. I’m going to take some time off to think about
what I want to do next.” Even though she left Good Morning America,
her workplace since 1976, including her time as a correspondent, her contract with ABC
didn’t end until 1999, so plans were made for Lunden to file stories for 20/20 and PrimeTime
Live. All that nighttime news work never materialized
for Lunden, which probably has something to do with the fact that she really didn’t want
to leave Good Morning America, and that she was allegedly forced out by ABC executives. This never became a well-known scandal of
the popular morning show, perhaps because Lunden never made a huge deal out of it. The official line was that she wanted to hang
out with her kids and try new things, but Lunden later admitted on The Oprah Winfrey
Show’s Where Are They Now? that she was actually asked to leave because, at age 46, she was
supposedly too old for Good Morning America. “The words are, ‘We’ve decided to make a change
on the show.'” “Oh, okay.” ” And so they, you know, found a 30-year old
version of me.” ABC also ousted Lunden’s longtime co-host
Charlie Gibson and replaced him with a younger man, and according to Lunden, the new hosts
didn’t last long at all. In 1999, those new hosts were replaced by
well-known ABC News personalities Diane Sawyer, and once again, Charlie Gibson. Lunden met her first husband at work. In the ’70s, she was a brand new reporter
at Good Morning America while Michael Krauss was a veteran producer for the show. In 1978, they got married and as she became
one of the most well-known people on TV, her career naturally eclipsed his. By 1992, they were done. She told People, “We’ve been growing apart for years. I probably stayed in it much longer than I
should have.” Lunden claimed that even going to marriage
counseling three times a week didn’t help them. Four years later, according to People, Lunden
happened to meet a man named Jeff Konigsberg at a deli in Westchester, New York. She shared, “He had this great smile. And I said, ‘Why can’t I meet a nice man like
that?'” Well, she did meet him, because seconds later,
the Maine summer camp owner came up to her table to introduce himself. After a little more than three years of dating,
Konigsberg proposed in April 2000, and they got married just 10 days later. Lunden is ten years older than Konigsberg,
and she already had three daughters from her first marriage by the time they married in
2000. But she was by no means ready to close the
family-building chapter of her life. Lunden told People, “Even before I met Jeff, I really wanted to
find somebody who wanted to have a family.” But Lunden was into her 50’s by the time she’d
settled down again, which can limit the possibility of successful pregnancy. And so, with the help of a surrogate, Lunden
and Konigsberg welcomed twins, Max and Kate, in June 2003. Less than two years later, and apparently
undaunted by having tiny tots running around the house, Lunden again sought out the same
surrogate, and embryos were implanted. And again, she delivered a set of twins to
Lunden and Konigsberg. Lunded quipped to People, “I’m just glad we didn’t get triplets!” Lunden spoke with Larry King about becoming
a mother again in her early 50s, telling him, “It’s interesting when you start to have children
at this time…You are so much more relaxed, you don’t have the unbelievable demands on
you that I had at that time where you’re just being pulled in a million different directions. So in a way it’s kind of interesting how you
can, I mean, I’m looking forward to going through it this time in a very different way.” In June 2014, Lunden returned to her old TV
home of Good Morning America to make a very special, and very serious, announcement. The former host shocked and concerned her
fans when she confirmed that she was in the midst of a battle with stage 2 triple negative
breast cancer, which is an “aggressive” form of the disease. “In the beginning it was kind of, you almost
feel like, ‘What did I do wrong?'” Lunden’s cancer-fighting regimen was also
an aggressive one. She endured a grueling 16 rounds of chemotherapy,
as well as a lumpectomy surgery, and then six weeks of radiation. Somehow, she found the strength and courage
to document it all on her video blog along the way. She also famously appeared completely bald
on an October 2014 cover of People. Just nine months after sharing her diagnosis
with the world, and dealing with cancer in a way that others may have found strength
or wisdom in it, she confirmed to People in March 2015 that she had completed her extensive
treatment, telling the outlet, “You go in one person, and you really do come
out another. I’ve always been a health addict for a long,
long time, but frankly I can’t think of a more important assignment.” As of 2018, Lunden is cancer-free, but her
fight against the disease is long from over. While she would’ve had every right to retreat
into private life and surround herself with family and friends after receiving her cancer
diagnosis, that isn’t what Lunden did. She saw her medical crisis as an opportunity
to educate women and hopefully inspire them to take better care of themselves. Lunden’s major post-Good Morning America career
has been about being a health advocate, particularly for breast cancer awareness. She gets her message across through speaking
engagements, articles, internet-video channels, and television appearances. After completing her own breast cancer treatments
in 2015, she told People magazine, “I found this breast cancer community to be
such an amazing, powerful, compassionate alliance. I realize that maybe my treatment is over,
but this journey is far from over for me. Being able to say I’m done and I saved my
life, it inspires me to keep motivating women to go to the doctor, get those lifesaving
tests, the mammograms, your gynecological exam every year, your colonoscopy.” Giving a book deal to Lunden, a friendly and
well-liked celebrity who was on TV five days a week in the ’80s and ’90s, was a no-brainer
for a publisher looking to make a lot of money fast. In 1996, Putnam published Lunden’s first book,
a sensitive memoir called Good Morning, I’m Joan Lunden. In it, Lunden details her rise to the top
level of TV, along with the story of how her surgeon father died in a plane crash when
Lunden was only 14. Lunden followed that with many more books,
several during her tenure on Good Morning America. She found the time to knock out Joan Lunden
Wake-Up Calls, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers, Your Newborn Baby, and
a number of titles focusing on healthy living and healthful eating. Probably Lunden’s most notable book, released
in 2015, is her honest memoir Had I Known: A Memoir of Survival, which chronicles her
painful, harrowing, and still powerful story of her fight against breast cancer. Lunden faced a tough fight against breast
cancer in 2014, but all that was countered with a bit of life-affirming joy. Around the same time as her diagnosis, Lindsay
Krauss Weinberg, Lunden’s daughter with first husband, welcomed a baby girl, officially
making Lunden a grandmother. A little over one year later, Lunden’s family
grew again when her other daughter from her first marriage, Jamie Krauss Hess, gave birth
to a baby boy. By that point, Lunden had completed treatment
for her breast cancer, was on the road to recovery, and ready to get down to grandma
business. Lunden spoke about the difference a year makes
during a September 2015 interview on the Today show. Just a year earlier, when her granddaughter
Parker was born, she was in the middle of chemo and feeling her worst. “And, you know, I just wanted everything to
be wonderful that day, and I didn’t want anybody to know how bad I felt.” But the next year, when her grandson Mason
was born, she was back to feeling like her strong, healthy self. Opening up to Closer Weekly, Lunden celebrated
her ever-expanding family, saying, “I came out [of my cancer battle] incredibly
appreciative of every little nuance of life, especially new babies. Holidays, birthdays, events at my house are
big, rambunctious and maybe a little chaotic, but really, really full of joy and fun! I feel really blessed to be a grandma!” In addition to raising a total of seven children
and working high-profile jobs in television news, Lunden had even more responsibilities
in the ’90s and 2000s. She took care of her older brother, Jeff,
who had type 2 diabetes. “Nobody should have to go through what we
watched my brother go through.” Lunden was also taking care of her mother. She admitted to People in 2020, “I was in my 30s and I became financially
responsible for them.” So she moved them into a house in Los Angeles
together while she tried to help however she could from her home in New York. She explained, “I would have a caregiver come in every couple
of days, take them to doctor’s appointments and help them around the house.” After Jeff died in 2007, Lunden sought out
a live-in facility for her mother, by then 87 and suffering from rapidly progressing
dementia. She told People, “I got thrown into having to find senior living
care and I didn’t know anything about it. Had I educated myself first it could have
been much easier.” In trying to help others avoid her struggle,
Lunden began giving talks about senior care, which led her to an assisted living referral
company called A Place for Mom. Lunden became the service’s spokesperson,
appearing in their TV ads since 2012. Lunden’s first 10 books are a contrasting
bunch, but there’s one through line that recurs in all of those titles, and it’s the same
one that defines Lunden’s post-Good Morning America professional life: They’re all about
living a healthy and mindful lifestyle. That thesis is present in her eleventh book,
too, the 2020 release Why Did I Come Into This Room? It’s a book about dealing with the problems
and issues that come from aging, but it’s the first one for the TV personality and author
in which humor is at the forefront. Expressing how it feels for someone of the
forever-young Baby Boomer generation to inch toward 70 years old, Lunden, who turned 69
in September 2019, joked, “I’m too old for Snapchat, but too young for
Life Alert.” Why Did I Come Into This Room? is also a departure
for Lunden in that it aimed to reveal truths to the audience but ultimately proved revelatory
and therapeutic for the author. She told Publishers Weekly, “This book morphed from the time I started
writing it five or six years ago. I was originally talking about staying younger
longer. Then I realized I wanted to know more about
accepting aging and understanding how to better prepare for it.” Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Nicki Swift videos about your
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100 thoughts on “We Finally Understand Why Joan Lunden Disappeared From TV

  1. Loved Joan Lunden back in the day. The babbling mouths they have on the morning shows today I can't tolerate & no longer watch. Ms. Lunden was a class act.

  2. Joan is one of the most loveliest and well respected Women from Television! This woman could outshine anyone past and present on morning talk shows!

  3. A lady in its fullest sense. Definitely worth everyones admiration and somebody to emulate.

    A very loving and caring sister and daughter,that combination alone rarely resides in one body nowadays.

    May she always remain healthy…😇😇😇


  5. Awesome, that her and her decided to have more children later on in life, children definitely benefit from as mother and father willing to commit to that. They simply are more prepared to deal with babies at that stage, there's really nothing more impressive.

  6. Miss her on tv. She is a remarkable lady in every way. I’m glad she has a loving family around her. May God continue to give her good health and happiness. ♥️🙏♥️

  7. Always enjoyed watching Joan on Good Morning America. We have the same birthday September 19, except I am a year older. Also I come from the same hometown Sacramento,CA and of course I share a journey of breast cancer too.

  8. She was such a classy lady on good morning America. Not fake like so many news people now. I never watch mornings shows anymore. I was always glued to the tv when Joan was on.🌺🌺❤️❤️


  10. Great update on a terrific news anchor! I miss people like Joan. Nobody and I mean NOBODY is as receptive and amazing as Joan was. Shame she had a rough life. Glad she is doing well and enjoying her family and life!

  11. I can see why they wanted new blood on the tv show good morning America, when the ratings go down you have to try something different

  12. Something that isn't mentioned in this video is a wonderful series that Joan began before her departure from GMA and continued right through her contract-end with ABC and that was "Behind Closed Doors." Search it up on YouTube and you'll find some excellent reporting from Lunden during the 5 years she hosted that show.

  13. It was kinda disappointing to hear that Joan and Charlie were thrown out of GMA only to be replaced by a younger version of those two. It turned out that the kids from ABC's World News Now (Kevin Newman and Lisa McRee) filled their places and put the show in the ratings basement.

  14. They did her a favor. She apparently loves being a mom way more than being rich and famous. What a rarity!

  15. Karma is coming back at her, she started making allot of Money and dumped her husband, for the big time , Karma is a Motherf…ker Joan !

  16. Just because you are told you have any type of cancer Doesn't mean you didn't or don't take care of yourself…sometimes it just happens

  17. Her real name is Joan blumden, her father was a doctor when he passed away my mother and stepfather worked for her mother taking care of the place she lived in Sacramento.

  18. Because she was looking older. That is just a fact of life. Women age more quickly than men. We don’t need to weep and feel sad or angry! She had a great run, she is rich. Not many women or men can last long on TV.

  19. Woman should be more aware and more protective of their parts legs and morally more responsible at any age. It's not ok to make yourself open and showing your upper legs etc. It's gross

  20. I remember when she and her second husband divorced. He, like the first, applied for and won alimony and other spousal benefits from her. She cried the blues citing how unfair it was for her to have to support him when all he did was sit around all day. Sounds like my first wife…sitting around all day, that is….only I never came close to making $2,000,000 per year. My heart bleeds! Besides, isn't that part of women's equality?

  21. I can't believe how beautiful she still is, God bless you Joan London. You are what a women is supposed to be.

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