meredith vieira gi Meredith Vieira: Why she's leaving 'Today'Meredith Vieira knew what she was in for when she took a gig co-anchoring the “Today Show” in 2006, but after just four years she’s had enough of the early morning grind.

In a new interview with People, Vieira says she’s leaving the $10 million a year job so she can “feel on top of the day.”

“If I get up at 4 a.m., I’m facing 20 emails and I don’t handle that well,” says Vieira. “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. 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.”

Vieira also debunks rumors that she quit to care for her husband, Richard Cohen, who suffers from multiple sclerosis and is legally blind.

“And I’ve always felt it diminished me and diminished him. It was being distorted, because it looked better to make it ‘Poor Meredith, she triumphs through it all,’ and that wasn’t the case. And Richard’s saying, ‘What is this? You never tend to me! You won’t event get me a cup of coffee!’ I said, ‘I know! This scam is working!’ But enough gets to be enough.”

What’s next for Vieira? She hasn’t announced any plans yet beyond continuing to host the syndicated game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”, but maybe she’ll have time to think about it once she’s a bit more rested.

“It was time for her to reclaim her life,” says Cohen. “I think it was a good decision.”

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson