Someone else will have to do the talking.
Barbara Walters announced her retirement on “The View” Monday after more than 50 years as a television trailblazer.
“I promised you that if I had anything to announce about my future plans, I would announce it here first, so here it goes,” the 83-year-old television icon told the studio audience at the beginning of the show. She was quick to add that she wouldn’t be leaving until the summer of 2014 and vowed to stay on as a producer on “The View,” a show she co-created..
After a montage of her highlights – including her famous and crossing of the Bay of Pigs to interview Fidel Castro and her 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky – Walters looked teary as the audience gave her a standing ovation.
Walters, who began her career at NBC in 1961, was the first woman to co-host a news program when she became news anchor at the “Today” show in 1974. She broke through another glass ceiling when she became the first co-anchor of a network evening newscast after joining ABC Evening News in 1976. She interviewed every president and first lady from the Nixons through the Obamas.
A who’s who of Disney executives were on hand for the send off including CEO Bob Iger. The executive divulged his own favorite Walters story, of when he met her 1976, back when he was a lowly production assistant delivering something to her dressing room. “You were very nice,” Iger said. “From then on you called me Jim, my name is Bob.
Mayor Bloomberg also stopped by to honor his long-time friend after her big announcement.
“I know it’s time,” Walters told her “View” cohost Elisabeth Hasselbeck later in the telecast. “I want to leave while people are saying why is she leaving, instead of why doesn’t she leave?”
With Don Kaplan and Bill Hutchinson
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