Barbara Walters to Announce Retirement on The View
Legendary newswoman Barbara Walters will officially announce her retirement on Monday's episode of The View, ABC News reports.
Walters, 83, will stay on The View through next season and continue to report for ABC News before stepping down in summer 2014, according to ABC.
"I am very happy with my decision and look forward to a wonderful and special year ahead both on The View and with ABC News," she told ABC. " 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."
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Walters' announcements comes two months after rumors first surfaced that she was planning on retiring after she had suffered health problems earlier this year. She fell and suffered a head injury in January and was later diagnosed with chicken pox. But Walters insists in a new interview with The New York Times that her health has nothing to do with her decision now. "I am not leaving because I am in ill health," Walters said. "I'm now fine."
Walters, who turns 84 in September, has been a pioneering female TV journalist throughout her career. In 1974, she became the first woman to co-host a news program after getting promoted on Today, which she first joined in 1961. Two years later, she became the first female anchor on an evening news program when she moved to ABC's Evening News. She went on to co-host 20/20 in 1979 and created The View in 1997.
The news comes on the heels of Joy Behar announcing her departure from The View and unconfirmed reports saying Elisabeth Hasselbeck is also leaving.
ABC is planning to air a multi-part career retrospective next May, leading up to Walters' retirement.
Will you miss Walters on The View?