Debbie Matenopoulos Teases Potential Return to 'The View' After Meghan McCain Announces Exit: 'Never Say Never'

Debbie Matenopoulos was one of the original co-hosts of the hit talk show alongside Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, and Joy Behar when it premiered in 1997

Debbie Matenopoulos Teases Potential Return to The View After Meghan McCain Announces Exit
Photo: Paul Archuleta/Getty

Debbie Matenopoulos is open to returning to her roots at The View.

The television personality was an original co-host on the daytime talk show back when it premiered in 1997, seated on the panel alongside other founding members Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, and Joy Behar, who is a current star of the show.

Matenopoulos was on the show for two years before Lisa Ling filled her seat in 1999.

After Meghan McCain announced earlier this month that she'd be leaving the show at the end of July after nearly four years, rumors swirled about ABC reaching out to alum Matenopoulos, 46, to rejoin the panel.

A spokesperson for Debbie tells PEOPLE: "Debbie will always have a fond place in her heart for The View, the show that launched her career as a 21-year-old straight out of NYU."

"Her rep has in fact been having conversations with senior executives at ABC News over the past few months about many things, including her participation in celebrating the 25th season of The View, and she appreciates all the interest in her returning," said the spokesperson. "Currently, she is in development on two food shows and her own lifestyle show, but she'd never say never to returning to her first television home."

A spokesperson for ABC did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Want to get the biggest stories from PEOPLE every weekday? Subscribe to our new podcast, PEOPLE Every Day, to get the essential celebrity, entertainment and human interest news stories Monday through Friday.

Reflecting on her time with The View, Matenopoulos said on an Oprah: Where Are They Now segment in 2013 that it was "the most amazing experience of my life to date and still the most amazing job."

"At that time I probably didn't realize what a big deal it was because I was so young," she said, adding, "Did I say and do some crazy things? Yeah, I look back at that girl and I say, 'You poor thing.' I mean that poor, poor thing."

McCain, 36, joined The View as a permanent co-host in October 2017. In addition to McCain, the current panel includes moderator Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Sara Haines, and Behar.

RELATED VIDEO: Meghan McCain Announces Her Exit from The View After Nearly 4 Years

In a statement shared with PEOPLE, ABC said, "For the past four years, Meghan McCain has brought her fierce determination and vast political knowledge and experience to The View. She recently came to us with her decision to depart the show at the end of this season, a difficult choice that she made for her and her family that we respect and understand."

"We wish the best for Meghan as she plans her next chapter, and thank her for the passion and unique voice that she shared with us and our viewers each day," the statement concluded.

Related Articles