By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — For months the popular game show “Jeopardy” was in hosting flux following the death of Alex Trebek, who’d hosted the program for more than three decades. Trebek’s personal choice for a replacement was CNN anchor, author and Sirius XM radio host Laura Coates. But she didn’t appear during the period when various guest hosts were auditioning before the duo of actress Mayim Bialik and previous champion Ken Jennings were announced as the hosts of season 38’s remaining episodes. Sony later announced there would be no plans to select a permanent host before season 39.

But now Coates has provided new details on Sony’s refusal to even consider her as a replacement host. She told Tamron Hall last week during an appearance on Hall’s show that she got a flat turn down from Sony about any participation in the show. Coates told Hall she did inquire about being added to the roster of those considered for the role, but was denied.

“I asked for the opportunity when it came time when they were looking for people to possibly fill in. I certainly raised my hand and knocked on doors and found them closed,” she said. “I was told no, which is one of those moments when you have to remember to wear your own jersey.”

Coates added that “you have to remember to continue to be your own champion in other respects, and sometimes the vision that you have for yourself — or those that surprise you, other people — don’t align with what happens, and that happened there.” Still, Coates said she was honored that Trebek considered her as someone who could potentially assume the Jeopardy! mantle.

“I actually was as shocked as anyone else was when he first said it,” she explained. “I was thrilled when he said my name and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this person that I have watched my whole life, really, even knows my name — let alone thinks that I would be worthy enough to fill his shoes, which frankly can’t be filled.’”

Coates also said she had a chance to talk with Trebek, something she’d also previously tweeted about, before his death at 80 from pancreatic cancer. “I was honored by it, and I had a chance to thank him and also to reach out to him while he struggled with pancreatic cancer,” Coates told Hall. “It just angers me still that we continue to lose so many great people to it.”