Barbara Walters announces May 16 departure from ABC’s The View

Paula David – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – A year after announcing her retirement, veteran journalist Barbara Walters is scheduled to make her last appearance on ABC’s “The View,” it was announced Monday.

Walters, who started her journalistic career in 1961 as an anchor in ‘Today,’ joined ABC in 1976, and was the first female anchor on an evening news program. Prior to “The View,” she was the host of “20/20.”

Known for her “scoop” and affecting interviews, Walters has delved into the lives of a wide array of celebrities, political figures, world leaders and controversial personalities. Some of her memorable interviews were with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, UK’s Margaret Thatcher, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, India’s Indira Gandhi, as well as celebrities including Katharine Hepburn, Michael Jackson, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, Sir Laurence Olivier, and the controversial Monica Lewisnky.

Her annual “Ten Most Fascinating People” has been one of the most awaited television specials hosted by ABC, highlighting 10 people who made an impact in a year. She started in 1993 with then U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, and wrapped in 2013 with Rodham Clinton as well, as Former Secretary of State.

About her plans after retiring, Walters told AARP Magazine, “I’ve worked for 50 years in television — 37 years at ABC. Why can’t I do what I’d like to do? Maybe go to a movie or a museum, maybe sleep until 9, maybe see a friend. I look forward to not having every day planned, or having to be at a certain place at a certain time.”

Asked about her reason for retiring, she said, “This was the right time. The kinds of interviews I did all these years — nobody wants them anymore. You have three minutes of a morning show. That’s different from before. And ‘The View,’ which I created, has been on the air for almost 17 years. It’s very successful, and I hope it will stay on after me. But 17 years is enough. I don’t want to do anything forever.”

Meanwhile, Walters, according to ABC, will still be part of “The View” as executive producer, and will remain a member of ABC News. On May 16, a two-hour special will be aired from 9 to 11 p.m. ET to honor the show creator’s life and work.

Furthermore, sometime this spring, the ABC News headquarters in New York City will be named in her honor.

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