NBC snags exclusive Walters interview

Instead of getting an exclusive interview, ABC's Barbara Walters has given one � to rival NBC's "Dateline."

Walters recently sat down with "Dateline" co-anchor Jane Pauley for a segment that will air in October, the New York Daily News has learned.

The "Dateline" segment is about New Horizons, a wilderness camp for troubled teenage girls that Walters' daughter, Jackie Danforth, founded in Springfield, Maine.

Pauley opened the interview with Walters alone, although Danforth joined them later, as the two discussed the turbulent teen years of their mother-daughter relationship.

The interview will be one of those rare occasions when a network news star appears on a competing program. The last such talent to sit for "Dateline" was Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly commentator from CBS' "60 Minutes."

TV journalists, a fiercely competitive lot, are more likely to do interviews when their careers are in transition, such as when Bryant Gumbel talked to Walters for ABC's "20/20" after he decided to leave CBS' "The Early Show."

Walters was not available for comment.

An ABC News spokesman said news division management had no problem with the "Dateline" interview.

"Barbara is a good interviewer and we're sure she'll be a fascinating interview subject," the spokesman said.

Walters and Pauley have their own connection. After Walters left NBC's "Today" show to join ABC News in 1976, Pauley, then a 24-year-old fresh-faced newscaster in Chicago, became her replacement.

In the Walters tradition, somebody cries during the interview, but the "Dateline" spokeswoman declined to reveal who.


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