Whoopi Goldberg was all smiles backstage at The View, several moments after the not-so-surprise announcement that she's the ABC chat show's long-awaited new moderator. The comedian tells TV Guide she "felt safe" in the warm embrace of her new colleagues. She's equally accepted by ex-

Viewers. Goldberg revealed that the day before her formal announcement, Star Jones Reynolds, who left the show after a bit of nastiness, sent her flowers. "We're friends," says Goldberg. "She was really excited and she said, 'You should do this, this is you. Go for it.'" Though Goldberg hadn't yet heard from Rosie O'Donnell, the new host said she's been reading O'Donnell's blog "and the great stuff she's written about me. What's better than that? Nobody's angry, nobody's nasty, nobody's unhappy." Now that Goldberg's filled the fourth seat, how about the fifth? View executive producer Bill Geddie says they're definitely still looking for someone and they're talking to several people, including Kathy Griffin and presumptive favorite Sherri Shepherd. So what's up with Shepherd? We hear she's still on top of the list, but there's some money issues keeping them from sealing the deal. - Reporting by Ileane Rudolph