Barbara Walters, Retiring From 'The View,' Announces Last Day as May 16

Image: Barbara Walters, Retiring From 'The View,' Announces Last Day as May 16

Monday, 07 Apr 2014 04:16 PM

By Morgan Chilson

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Barbara Walters will end her 50-year career on television on May 16 with her last appearance as a co-host on “The View.”

Walters, 84, announced a year ago that she would retire, although she will continue as an executive producer. A two-hour ABC special will air that night, highlighting Walters’s life and career, ABC News reported. 

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"In this business there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters," Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company, told ABC News. "It's impossible to fully convey her impact and influence on television. She broke barriers, defied convention, made history and set the standard for journalistic excellence for more than 50 years. It's hard to imagine television without her."

Walters became the first female anchor on an evening news program when she joined ABC in 1976. She co-hosted “20/20” and then “The View.” She began her career on NBC in 1961.

When Walters announced her last appearance on “The View” as co-host, she joked and laughed as the program showed photos of the journalist throughout her career.

“Many of you who have had to put up with me since your childhood. And you’re not free of me yet, because I am not leaving television entirely. I will continue in my role as executive producer of the view. I can keep my eye on all of you,” she warned her colleagues on“The View."

Despite expressing sadness about retiring, Walters said she is ready to move on. 

“It feels right for me. It feels right for me to go," she said. "I love this show. I love what we’ve done. It will continue without me. When I say I feel sad, I love these moments. But I also know that it’s time. I don’t want people to say, ‘Is she still here?’ I want them to say ‘Hey, you know, wasn’t it fun?’”

The ABC News headquarters in New York City will be renamed The Barbara Walters Building, ABC News announced.

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