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Rona Barrett, TV's late night-early morning gossip, said Tuesday...

June 16, 1981

HOLLYWOOD -- Rona Barrett, TV's late night-early morning gossip, said Tuesday she's through playing second fiddle to 'Tomorrow' show host Tom Snyder and will quit the show.

'My part in the show wasn't what it was originally conceived to be,' Miss Barrett said.

'It's a long and complicated problem and I don't want to sound like a petulant person.

'I agreed to attempt the new format with Tom Snyder at the request of Fred Silverman, but it's never turned into what I thought it was going to be or what my contract stated.'

Miss Barrett walked off the program earlier this year when Snyder, who is based in New York, failed to cut to her in Hollywood for a segment. Things were patched up and Miss Barrett returned to the show but, she said, since then her portions of the program have been relegated to the final half-hour of the 90-minute 'Tomorrow' show.

'No matter who I got as a guest, no matter how important, they never put me first up,' she said. 'I even had Billy Graham as a guest and we didn't get the top spot.'

Miss Barrett said she and Snyder 'are philosophically miles apart. I wish him all the luck in the world but I won't play second fiddle to him or anybody else any longer.'

Miss Barrett said her lawyers have told NBC she will not be returning to the program when it goes back on the air July 6. She said her status on NBC's early morning 'Today' show 'depends on how my contract is interpreted. I hope to continue doing the 'Today' show.'