Barbara Walters, whose television career spans more than a half century, will retire in May 2014, an executive familiar with the newswoman’s plans said Thursday.
The formal announcement of Walters’s plans will probably be made this May on her ABC daytime program, “The View.” The executive familiar with the plans said the following year will include a number of specials and retrospectives of Walters’s long career in television on her network, ABC.
Walters’s decision follows a year in which her health became a national story. She suffered a concussion in Washington after the inauguration. That developed into an infection that was ultimately diagnosed as a case of chicken pox. In 2010, Ms. Walters underwent a successful heart bypass operation.
In recent years, Walters, 83, has stepped back from a number of her longtime roles, limiting the number of interview specials for which she has become famous. But she maintained her base at “The View,” a consistently successful program she created.
The future of that program has recently been the subject of much speculation, with one longtime host, Joy Behar, leaving and another, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, rumored to be coming to the end of her tenure. But most of Walters’s career was spent at network news divisions, first at NBC, where she became the first prominent woman to anchor the “Today” show, and then at ABC. (The New York Times)