Barbara Walters To Retire From 'The View,' TV Journalism In 2014 [Video]
Barbara Walters, The View host and co-creator, will retire from TV journalism in 2014, reported ABC on Sunday evening. Walters confirmed the news on The View on Monday morning, announcing her plans to end her 50-year career on the small screen.
“I promised you that if I had anything to announce about my future plans, I would announce it here first, so here it goes,” the 83-year-old told the studio audience. “I am not walking into the sunset,” she said. "I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain. I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and OK, some men too — who will be taking my place."
While Walters was making her departure plans public, she was quick to assure fans that she would not be leaving The View until the summer of 2014. She also stated that she would remain with the show as a producer.
Following her announcement, a montage of highlights of her illustrious career played on the screen above the stage. Among the highlights, was her reporting on the Bay of Pigs, an interview with Fidel Castro, as well as her interview with Monica Lewinsky in 1999. Walters grew teary during the moving tribute, while the studio audience proceeded to give the legendary television journalist a standing ovation.
Walters began her career at NBC in 1961, becoming the first woman to cohost a news program when she took on the role of news anchor on the Today show in 1974. When she joined ABC Evening News in 1974, she broke another glass ceiling, becoming the first female co-anchor of a network evening newscast. From Richard Nixon through to President Barack Obama, she has interviewed every president and First Lady – a remarkable achievement by any journalist, be they male of female.
Walters’ retirement announcement comes on the heels of Joy Behar's decision to leave The View after joining Walters during the talk show’s first season. There's also speculation that Elisabeth Hasselback could be leaving the show after this season as well.
The View’s hosting panel is sure to face a shakeup for next year. Replacements for the departing hosts have yet to be named.