• Wed. Jun 12th, 2024

Today’s Bryant Gumbel gave me ‘endless s–t’ for going on maternity leave

Today's Bryant Gumbel gave me 'endless s--t' for going on maternity leave

Katie Couric accused Bryant Gumbel of having an “incredibly sexist attitude” about her maternity leave when they worked together on the “Today” show.

Couric appeared Sunday on Bill Maher’s “Club Random” podcast where the host brought up Gumbel, whom he called a “friend” and a “guy’s guy.” 

“He’s a guy’s guy, you got that right,” Couric, 67, said with a giant smirk. “He was prickly, but, what a talent. He’s such a seamless broadcaster, eloquent. When that countdown would happen — five, four, three, two, one — he would just hit it perfect.”

Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel pictured in 1996. Getty Images

“Smooth as silk,” Maher, 68, interjected.

Gumbel began anchoring “Today” in 1982 and was joined by Couric in 1991 — the same year she welcomed her first daughter, Ellie. The duo co-anchored together until he left the show in 1997.

“Complicated guy, though,” Couric continued on the podcast, alluding to some not-so-fond memories of Gumbel. “I think … really talented guy, incredibly smart.”

Katie Couric attends PaleyLive NY: “Miracle on the Hudson: How ‘Sully’ And Flight 1549 Inspired a Nation” at Paley Museum on Jan. 11. Getty Images
Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel attend the Ninth Annual UNICEF Snowflake Ball at Cipriani on Wall Street on Dec. 3, 2013. Getty Images for UNICEF

“He got mad at me because I was doing something on maternity leave,” she revealed. “And he was giving me endless s – – t for taking like a month or two off. I was having my first baby.”

“I could see that,” Maher responded. 

“He was like, ‘Why don’t you just drop it in the field and come back to work right away or something?’” Couric said, noting that Gumbel made the remark with some kind of joking tone.

Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel on “Today” in 1994. Getty Images

“He was goofing on me but giving me a lot of s – – t. But it was emblematic of sort of an incredibly sexist attitude,” she added.

The Post has contacted reps for Gumbel for comment.

Maher then steered the podcast conversation to Couric’s other “Today” coworker Matt Lauer, who was fired from NBC in 2017 amid allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

“Well, obviously, there was a tradition of an old boys’ network,” Maher said, looping in Gumbel’s alleged off-putting remark.

Matt Lauer and Katie Couric attend the Robin Hood Foundation’s 2015 Benefit at Jacob Javitz Center on May 12, 2015, in New York City. Getty Images

“Yes, yes,” Couric agreed. “It was a very different environment, very different. And lots of fraternization, a polite way of saying inner-office schtupping.”

“And women had to put up with more. They just did,” Maher said. “I mean, you know, not to get all fuzzy and Lifetime Channel about it, but people like you and Barbara Walters or just like women comedians of a certain age, you have to really tip your hat to them because it was harder.”

“Yeah, it was,” Couric nodded. 

Couric left NBC in 2006 and served as the first female anchor of a national evening newscast on “CBS Evening News” until 2011. She went on to work at ABC and Yahoo News before launching her own media company in 2017.

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