The View might be looking a little more to the left later this week.
The show’s resident conservative panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who began her broadcast career as a contestant on Survivor, will exit Barbara Walters’ ABC chat-fest after Wednesday’s installment to begin a gig as host of Fox and Friends. The news was broken by The New York Post.
Hasselbeck’s Fox News stint will put her alongside current cohosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade. Gretchen Carlson, meanwhile, will shift from the panel to host a one-hour daytime program.
“Elisabeth’s warm and engaging personality made her a star on The View,” Fox News Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes told The Post. “She has proven to be an excellent conversationalist and I am certain she will make a great addition to our already successful morning franchise.”
Walters weighed in on her cohost’s exit, too. “When Elisabeth survived Survivor we wanted to make sure she would stay afloat,” she said in a statement. “We have had 10 wonderful years with her and she will now be swimming in new waters. We will miss her and wish her everything good.”
ABC also issued a statement: “For a decade, Elisabeth Hasselbeck has brought her passion and strong beliefs to The View. We watched her journey from newlywed to motherhood, an Emmy Award-winning talk show host, author, entrepreneur and activist. She stood behind her political views even if they were not the most popular opinions at the table, never shying away from voicing a difficult question. We thank Elisabeth and wish her luck as she begins this new chapter of her career.”
ABC’s daytime talker is in the midst of some serious upheaval. In March, longtime host Joy Behar announced her intent to step down after 16-plus years on the job, while Walters herself confirmed in May that she’ll retire from television altogether in the summer of 2014.
Rumors have circulated in recent weeks that Brooke Shields and Jenny McCarthy might fill the vacancies left by Behar and Hasselbeck, who’d been widely expected to fly the coop despite Walters denying departure buzz a few months ago.
What do you think of Hasselbeck’s departure? Will you miss her on The View? Will you follow her to Fox and Friends? And who should be her replacement? Take our poll below, then expand on your thoughts in the comments!