Huntsman is set to announce her departure on today’s episode of the ABC daytime mainstay. ABC News confirmed she will exiting “The View” to help work with her father, Jon Huntsman, as he runs for governor in Utah. She has yet to set the date of her final appearance on the series.
“We thank Abby for her unique, intelligent, insightful and relatable voice that she brought to the show both in front of and behind the camera,” “View” exec producers Hilary Estey McLoughlin, Candi Carter and Brian Teta said in a note to show staffers. “We will truly miss her and her great spirit professionally and personally.”
Huntsman joined the show in September 2018, she came on board as a second conservative voice — in addition to Meghan McCain — the first time the talk show created by Barbara Walters in 1997 featured two Republican women. Huntsman had previously worked as a host on Fox News, but she gave an interview explaining that she didn’t necessarily like to be identified as a conservative.
“Many of my generation don’t want to be labelled one thing or another,” Huntsman told the Deseret News. “With politics for example, we’re at a time when both parties are at such an extreme. A lot of us are in that middle area, and that’s where I sit.”
The other co-hosts of the “The View” are Whoopi Goldberg, who moderates the show, Joy Behar, McCain and Sunny Hostin.
“You’re some of the most talented, hard-working and genuine people I’ve ever worked with,” Huntsman said in a note to “View” staffers. “The staff is the engine of the show and you never get enough credit for what you do.”
It’s understood that Huntsman made the decision to join her father’s campaign over the December holidays. Jon Huntsman is a former Republican governor of Utah who also ran for president in 2012. President Donald Trump named Jon Huntsman the U.S. ambassador to Russia in 2017. He resigned that post in October, one month before he launched his gubernatorial bid.
“When your father asks you to help run your campaign, it’s a hard one to say no to,” McLoughlin, Carter and Teta noted.
“The View,” now in its 23rd season, has seen its ratings spike as the show’s signature Hot Topics debates dissect the latest scandals from the Trump White house. In the run-up to the 2020 election, the show has landed interviews with many of the Democrats running for president including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.
Last May, New York Times Magazine ran a cover story about “The View” that called it “the most important political show TV on America.”
According to sources, ABC will not be replacing Huntsman for now. Instead, they will be trying out a rotating panel of co-hosts for the fifth seat.
Here are the full memos sent by “View” executive producers and Huntsman on Monday:
We have some bittersweet news to share. Abby Huntsman is leaving The View to help run her father’s campaign for Governor of Utah and to spend more time with her young family. As you will see in her note below, she made the tough decision to move on over the holiday break.
From the moment Abby joined us a year and a half ago, we knew how important her big family is to her. Isabel charmed us each time she came to the show and we shared Abby’s journey as she welcomed her twins, William and Ruby. Her dedication to family is what is launching Abby’s next exciting chapter. When your father asks you to help run your campaign, it’s a hard one to say no to.
We thank Abby for her unique, intelligent, insightful and relatable voice that she brought to the show both in front of and behind the camera. We will truly miss her and her great spirit professionally and personally.
We will cheer her on as she embraces her family’s long history in public service and we’ll welcome her back to hear about her future projects.
Hilary, Candi and Brian
To the Best Team in TV,
ABC has been my family for a long time and I am so thankful to have had a seat at the table on an iconic show like The View. After much deliberation over the holidays, I have decided to leave the show to dedicate myself full-time in support of my dad and his campaign for Governor of Utah.
You know I think the world of all of you. You’re some of the most talented, hard-working and genuine people I’ve ever worked with. The staff is the engine of the show and you never get enough credit for what you do. I applaud you and thank you for welcoming me to the family on day-one. You always made me look much better than I ever could have on my own. Thank you for believing in me and for all the laughs along the way.
ABC will always hold a special place in my heart, and so will all of you.
I hope you will be in my life for years to come.