Barbara Walters is set to retire from broadcasting in May 2014, a person familiar with her plans told The Huffington Post.
There will be a years’ worth of specials about Walters’ storied broadcasting career before then. The news followed a report in Deadline that said Walters would announce her retirement this May.
Walters is 83 years old, and has had several health scares in recent years, from her heart surgery in 2010 to her bout with chicken pox and a concussion just this past January. She had brushed off all talk of retirement, however. In late 2011, TMZ published a report saying Walters had told President Obama she was retiring soon. ABC laughed it off, and Walters proved that the story was false by very obviously not stepping down.
When she does retire, it will be, to put it mildly, the end of an iconic and historic career. Walters has held just about every possible high-profile position in television news, from her first major job as anchor of “Today” to her decades-long tenure with ABC News. Beyond the countless scoops and interviews she’s racked up, she is widely recognized as a trailblazer for women in journalism.
News of Walters’ retirement comes on the heels of Joy Behar’s announcement that she is leaving “The View” at the end of the season. Walters, who serves as co-host and executive producer, created the show with Bill Geddie in 1997.
Like Walters, Behar has been on “The View” since the show debuted. Reports have also surfaced that co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who joined the program at the end of 2003, will also leave the show at the end of the season. With Behar and Hasselbeck’s exits followed by Walters’ retirement, the show is likely to experience some growing pains as it replaces its longtime hosts.