Barbara Walters is expected to announce in the days to come that she will retire by May 2014, according to a person familiar with the situation, shaking up the on air lineup of ABC daytime talker “The View,” and bringing closer the end of the on air tenure of a generation of TV journalists who were active in the genre’s earliest days.
Walters had been off the air a few weeks back after suffering a falkland then the onset of chickenpox. Her departure from the airwaves will leave “View” without any of its founding hosts. Joy Behar, the only other original panel member on the show, has already announced she would step down. Walters created and owns part of the program.
Though “The View” has occupied her time as of late, Walters may best be known for the many barriers she broke in the course of her TV news career. Indeed, if she did not already host a series of specials about fascinating people, she may have well been asked to be a guest on one of them.
Born in 1929, she secured a job as a researcher on NBCs Today show in 1961, working her way into an on air position and then moving all the way up to co-host in 1974- the first female to do so. She would break barriers again when she co-hosted the ABC Evening News from 1976 to 1978 despite a contentious relationship with co-host Harry Reasoner.
She also had a long tenure on ABC’s newsmagazine 20/20.
Word of Walters’ retirement plan was first reported by Deadline.