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Could Julie Chen Head To ABC & Become The New Barbara Walters?

Anonymous “sources” reportedly close to Julie Chen (Moonves) are busy today telling corporate magazines and websites that she is “happily” staying with CBS and Big Brother “for years to come.”

Don’t believe everything you read.

Chen is under contract to host the already planned Celebrity Big Brother this winter. But my “insiders” at CBS say Chen will be welcome to leave the network when her embattled husband finally exits the building.

Moonves, one of the most powerful men in television over the past two decades, resigned as the CEO of CBS after six more women raised assault and harassment claims against him, bringing the total to 12.

He continues to work at CBS as an unpaid advisor. The role was included in his termination agreement and will last a year, while he is under investigation. If the board finds the allegations were true, his unpaid advisory role will end.

At that point Moonves will be asked to leave officially, and many at the network believe Chen will also go.

This time two years ago, CBS had already started trumpeting Big Brother’s renewal for two more seasons. This year, in wake of the Moonves controversy, they have been silent on the shows future.

The current season ends next Wednesday, and there is no word yet about a Season 21.

Then there are the ratings. Down about 18 percent in the coveted 18-34 demo this season. Still, Big Brother is cheap to produce and a reliable summer offering for the network and many believe it will return for Season 21, but with a new host.

Julie Chen remains one of the best broadcasters of modern times. Before she took the advice of Moonves and headed to the entertainment division, she was the highly qualified and credible anchor of the CBS Morning News. She is one of the best interviewers on television.

ABC may be interested in pursuing Chen, now that her husband’s affiliation with CBS is nearing an end.

Many believe she would be the perfect replacement for Barbara Walters, who spent years at ABC as the face of entertainment and interviews.

“I would trade myself for Barbara Walters, I bow to her” Chen once told Andy Cohen. “I bow to her because she’s the best.”

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