The Press: Pauley Signs On

The script at NBC was carefully plotted: Jane Pauley, 25, the corn-fed Catherine Deneuve who was the leading contender for a cut-down version of Barbara Walters' old job on the Today show, would join the program on Oct. 4—the same day, cunningly enough, that Million-Dollar Barbara started work at the ABC Evening News. That timing would have helped blunt the effect of ABC's extravagant promotion campaign to celebrate Walters' change of venue, and perhaps helped minimize NBC's embarrassment at losing television's No. 1 newswoman to a rival.

Due to technical difficulties beyond NBC's control, however, Pauley was not on hand Monday to...