ABC talker may lose second host

Big changes appear to be on the horizon for “The View,” as reports surfaced that co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck will be leaving the ABC daytime talkshow at the end of the season. The Alphabet confirmed yesterday that deskmate Joy Behar is set to ankle the series as well, in order to pursue new career endeavors.

It’s unclear why Hasselbeck is leaving the femme-skewing talkshow.

When contacted regarding the Hasselbeck departure, ABC issued a virtual non-statement. “Elisabeth Hasselbeck is a valued member of ‘The View’ and has a long term contract,” a spokesperson said.

“The View” has been a staple on the Alphabet’s ayem lineup for 16 years, with Barbara Walters and Behar seated at the desk as co-hosts since the show’s inception in 1997. Barring the quick turnover of co-host Rosie O’Donnell, the program has cast members that see considerable tenure: Walters and Behar have logged the entire run, while Hasselbeck has spent a decade on the show. Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd have been onboard since 2007.

Season to date ratings for “The View,” however, have slid about 11% in total viewers, while CBS competitor talkshow “The Talk” has seen upticks in key demos. While the shows do not compete in the same timeslot (“View” is part of ABC’s morning lineup while “Talk” occupies CBS’ early afternoon slate), the comparable concepts leave the two vying for similar auds and demos.

What’s more, the ratings downturn for “The View” comes as ABC’s “Good Morning America” has been starting off the day more strongly, outperforming the Peacock’s “The Today Show.”

While Walters has made no moves to exit “The View” (she serves as a creator and exec producer for the show in addition to being a co-host), she was sidelined this year for about six weeks due to medical issues. The 83-year-old assured viewers and her fellow co-hosts that she is in good health, but the pending departures of Behar and Hasselbeck do raise questions as to how long Walters will remain in her on-cam post.

ABC has no official successors in line for Behar or Hasselbeck.

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