UPDATED: This is one our Nellie Andreeva told you was going to happen back in March. It became official this morning on The View, the show Barbara Walters co-created. “In the summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all”, she said after showing a clip montage of her 52 years in the business. “It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating and occasionally bumpy ride. And I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m perfectly healthy. This is my decision. I’ve been thinking about it a long time. This is what I want to do”. She added: “I will come back, I’m not going into the sunset.” Walters said she will continue as executive producer of The View with Bill Geddie. (Continued below)
Disney’s Bob Iger was one of several Disney and ABC brass on hand for the announcement. “What are we going to do?” Walters asked the chairman and CEO during the show (Iger is retiring in 2015). “The two of us love to dance”, he responded. “I say we go on Dancing With The Stars”. ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney, ABC News president Ben Sherwood and ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee joined Iger to watch Walters say goodbye.
Related: Barbara Walters To Announce Retirement
I’ve learned that Barbara Walters will announce her retirement on The View tomorrow. As we first reported in March, the TV icon this spring made the decision to get off the air after 52 years, and had been mulling the timing of her announcement. It will come tomorrow, in the middle of May sweeps. Walter is expected to leave her duties as The View co-host and ABC News contributor in summer 2014 but will keep some behind-the-camera presence, including serving as executive producer of The View, which she co-created. But before she hangs up her microphone, Walters will host one more 10 Most Fascinating People special and another Oscar special, among other appearances on ABC and her hosting duties on The View. Walters will be given a big sendoff on the network culminating with a retrospective special, likely next May. Read More »
UPDATED EXCLUSIVE: After years of speculation, I hear Barbara Walters may be finally ready to hand up her microphone. I’ve learned a plan has been put in place for Walters to announce her retirement, eyed for May 2014. Fitting for Walters’ status as the grand dame of TV journalism and a signature face of ABC News, I hear she would be given a big sendoff with retrospectives and other special content in the weeks leading to her retirement that would celebrate her 52-year broadcast career. Walters had been determined to leave on her own terms, so it is unclear whether revealing the plans would make her change her mind and whether she would go for a full retirement or keep some TV presence with occasional appearances and specials.
Walters has been a trailblazer for female TV journalists, becoming the first woman to co-host a news program when she got behind the Today desk in 1974 and the first co-anchor of a network evening news broadcast when she joined ABC Evening News in 1976. She also anchored ABC News’ primetime newsmagazine 20/20 for 20 years. Read More »
Barbara Walters has been away from her anchor chair on The View since January 22, when she fainted and suffered a concussion the weekend before while on assignment for ABC News at the Presidential Inauguration. She was … Read More »
2ND UPDATE, 8:30 AM: The latest setback comes 10 days after Walters fell and cut her head the night before she was to cover the presidential inauguration for ABC News. She was set to be released last week, but doctors first wanted to get an elevated temperature under control — it turns out that fever was related to chicken pox, which the 83-year-old never had as a child. “So now she’s been told to rest, she’s not allowed any visitors. And we’re telling you, Barbara, no scratching,” Whoopi Goldberg said today on The View. Walters, who was transferred to a NY hospital last week, is expected to be released soon.
UPDATE, JAN 22 AM: Barbara Walters said she expects to be released from the hospital soon after her weekend fall that kept her from covering the inauguration for ABC News. She said today in a statement that she is running a low-grade fever and doctors want to wait until it’s normal before she’s sent home. “Barbara went to Washington to cover the inauguration”, Walters’ The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg said today on the show. “She missed a step and had a fall, which cut her upper temple. The doctors stitched her up and she is doing fine, but they want her to take it easy”. There was no word on when the veteran journalist might return to her network duties. Read More »
The Lindsay Lohan-Barbara Walters interview is scheduled to air November 16 on ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20, just ahead of the premiere of Lifetime’s Liz & Dick, which stars Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor. Walters confirmed the booking this morning on The … Read More »
Barbara Walters secured the first exclusive American TV interview with Syria president Bashar al-Assad back in December as that nation’s internal strife began to bubble over. Now she has issued an apology after a string of emails surfaced that showed the ABC News icon later attempted to use her influence to gain favor’s for one of Assad’s closest aides, the 22-year-old daughter of Syria’s UN ambassador. According to the UK’s Telegraph, Sheherazad Jaafari, who the New York Times reports Walters said helped secure the Assad interview, stayed in close contact with Walters afterward, and she allegedly asked The View co-host for a job at ABC News. Walters told her that was a conflict, but later she offered to help by sending her resume to Piers Morgan’s show at CNN and reaching out to Columbia School of Journalism professor Richard Wald, the father of Morgan’s CNN executive producer Jonathan Wald. After asking if there was “anything you can do to help” Jaafari gain entrance to the university, the elder Wald replied that he would get the admissions office to “give her special attention”, according to the Telegraph. Read More »
We’re not really sure where The Hollywood Reporter got its information this morning when it reported and sent out an email alert that ABC’s Barbara Walters “has landed the first sit-down with Casey Anthony defense attorney Jose Baez,” especially when … Read More »