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Last night, rumors were flying that Barbara Walters would announce her retirement during this morning’s episode of The View on ABC. Yesterday, the New York Times wrote an article definitively stating Walters is leaving The View and will not be taking on a host of other posts or challenges. This morning, Walters announced she does hope to retire from the limelight, although she will stay on as an executive producer on The View, a show she created.
Today’s announcement was a teary affair. Walters was noticeably choking up when she opted to make her announcement, even though she had a slew of TV friends on hand, as well as NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Disney CEO Bob Iger, among others, to help her to get through her statement. Walter’s statement was pretty poignant, but her decision seems final.
"I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain," she added. "I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women -- and, OK, some men, too -- who will be taking my place."
Walters also said in a statement that she will stick around as an executive producer, but more importantly, fans will continue to be able to see the veteran journalist in action into 2014. She picked a date one year in advance of when she will officially retire from the small screen, which will give the network plenty of time to fill Walters’ chair on The View.
This year has been a tumultuous one for Walters, who suffered a fall and then medical complications due to contracting chickenpox. After the health scare, it seemed like a retirement announcement might be coming, but thanks to the transitions The View is going through next season after losing Joy Behar and potentially losing Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Walters has decided to be a real trooper and stick it out for one more year. Here’s hoping she leaves with a bang and not a whimper.