“Dumping Joy Behar, who was there 16 years, and Hasselbeck would be the fastest way to do it, they decided. After giving Behar the bad news last week and letting her bow out gracefully, someone leaked the Hasselbeck thing. Some enemies she has on the show saw their chance to get back at her. Barbara was spitting mad that it got mishandled, and called off the firing over [last] weekend.”

While we heard Hasselbeck would go when her contract is up next year, the source added, “It could be earlier, because the ABC brass believes the show needs to be younged-up fast. They easily could coax her to go early.”