Barbara Walters Confirms She'll Retire From Television Next Summer

Barbara Walters Retiring 2014After a career in broadcast journalism spanning more than five decades, Barbara Walters is seeking a quieter view.

The veteran newswoman, who will turn 84 in September, officially announced on her daytime chat-fest The View that she will retire from her various on-air gigs next summer.

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“I have been on TV continuously for over 50 years, but in the summer of 2014 — a year from now — I plan to retire from appearing on television at all,” said Walters, who wiped tears from her eyes before beginning her speech. She added that she is “perfectly healthy” and that the decision to step down was hers.

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Walters will continue in her role as co-executive producer of The View for as long as it remains on air, she added.

“There will be special occasions and I will come back. I’m not walking into the sunset,” Walters continued. “But I don’t want to appear on another program. I don’t want to climb another mountain. I want instead to sit in a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and OK, some men, too — who will be taking my place.”

Walters’ announcement was preceded by a self-narrated reel of her career highlights. The pioneering journalist was the first female co-host of NBC’s Today and the first female co-anchor of an evening newscast at ABC Evening News. She also led ABC’s news journal 20/20 for two decades. In 1997, she co-created The View. Furthermore, Walters has interviewed every U.S. president and first lady since the Nixon administration.

Walters said her successes starting with Today took her by surprise. “I wasn’t beautiful,” she said. “I had trouble pronouncing my R’s. I still do.”

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  1. nitemar says:

    I still have doubts she’ll ever leaves exposure,unless she’s. Terrible I’ll.

    • nitemar says:

      Sorry errors…

    • Jean Mooney says:

      Do we have to have all Barbara all the time for a whole year? She might have waited until next May to announce her retirement – a more seemly departure. This is ridiculous coverage – and not interesting at all. Will no longer watch until this hoopla is over with.

      • Kim R says:

        Yeah…I kind of wondered about such an early announcement. On GMA when they started saying Barbara was announcing her retirement on The View today I thought the rest of the sentence was going to be “at the end of June” or something like that. Why so early? Does she want acclaim for the next year? I don’t get it. ??

      • TV Gord says:

        Nobody said that about Johnny Carson when he did the same thing.

  2. Chablis says:

    What is reture TVline writer? #spellcheck

  3. mia says:

    I hope she enjoys her retirement! She’s done a remarkable job breaking walls for women in journalism, broadcasting and television.

  4. Drew says:

    I think this decision has come many years too late. Walters, like many (most?) news anchors have proven themselves to be about as respectable as tabloid journalists, with their slanted reporting that focuses more on their own views than on the facts of the story.

    Journalism in general is in the tank, and while many of these people may have retired with dignity in the past, it seems like many of them have simply become a part of the problem. A while back, I might have said that she seemed like a nice lady and a good reporter. Today, I have no respect for her work. She sold out. TV will be better off without her.

    That said, I sincerely hope that she enjoys her retirement for many years to come.

    • TV Gord says:

      When has she slanted a story to suit her own opinion? If you’re going to hurl an accusation like that at a respected journalist, you should cite some examples to back it up. Otherwise, you’re just blathering.

      • Drew says:

        Seriously? Now we have to post quotes and citations whenever we respond to an article with our opinions?

        Yeah, I’m not going to dig through years of Walters reports to find examples right now. Fortunately, I’m not reporting a news story, I’m posting my opinions. That’s kinda what this section is for. If you want to call that blathering, feel free. But my opinion is just as valid as anyone who is a fan, based on years of watching her reports and listening to her on The View.

  5. Jesse says:

    Long live Baba Wawa!

  6. Mel says:

    Babs’ ego is SO BIG she wants a year-long love fest with everyone fawning over her and telling her how wonderful she is, how much she will be missed, ad nauseum. Don’t get me wrong, she is a pioneer in her field, and has paved the way for women in journalism, but over the last few years she has become somewhat of a joke. That woman should have been put out to pasture years ago.

  7. Teeny Bikini says:

    Dang, this was the funniest comment section ever. Y’all are vicious on a Monday :)

  8. socalgal says:

    25 years ago she would have gone out on top. These days, she’s trash like all the rest. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.