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‘The View’ in Talks to Add ‘GMA Weekend’ Anchor Sara Haines (EXCLUSIVE)

“GMA Weekend” lifestyle anchor Sara Haines is in talks to take over as a co-host on the “The View,” Variety has learned.

The daytime talk show, which has been rocked by a series of staff shakeups since Barbara Walters retired in 2013, kicks off its 20th season the fall. Haines is a familiar presence at the Hot Topics table, having served as a guest host more than 30 times over the last two years. She’d be occupying the seat vacated by comedian Michelle Collins, who is exiting “The View” after just one year.

“We’re lucky to have terrific and talented guest co-hosts fill in at the table and we include Sara Haines on that list,” said an ABC spokesperson. “When we are ready to make to make an announcement about next season, we will.”

Sources inside ABC say that executives are high on Haines, 38, for her ability to tackle both hard and softs news stories, as well as her interviewing skills. Over the last six months, “The View” had been using Haines more frequently with the correspondent talking about her first pregnancy. In May, while still on her maternity leave, Haines stopped by for “The View’s” Mother’s Day episode to share stories about the birth of her son Alec. That followed a full-hour baby shower on “The View” in February for Haines, with an audience packed with pregnant women and surprise visits from her parents and husband.

Haines arrived at ABC News in 2013, after a nearly a decade at “Today,” where she served as a contributing correspondent for the fourth-hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Haines’ addition to “The View” would make her the second cast member to join from “Good Morning America” (after Paula Faris). Two years ago, when Disney/ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood switched the oversight of “The View” from daytime to the news division, it fueled speculation that the network was considering turning “The View” into a third-hour of “Good Morning America.” But ABC strongly denied such a plan was in place, and “The View” has remained a separate brand.

The rest of the panel for season 20 will likely include moderator Whoopi Goldberg (who is in talks to re-sign her contract), Joy Behar and Faris. The network is still figuring out if Raven Symone or Candace Cameron-Bure will be back as full-time co-hosts, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions.

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