Barbara Walters Confirms Retirement on “The View”

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Barbara Walters will make people cry for the last time a year from now when she retires from television.

“I have been on television continuously for over 50 years,” Walters said on Monday's broadcast of "The View." “But in the summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all.”

Until then, Walters said she will continue to anchor and report for the network, anchor specials throughout the year, and appear on "The View." She will remain executive producer of "The View," the weekday talk show she created in 1997.

"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."

The show opened with a montage of Walters' career to showcase some of her most famous television moments including hard-hitting interviews with Fidel Castro, Boris Yeltsin and most recently Syria's president Bashar al-Assad.

Walters had a knack for making her interview subjects cry. From Patrick Swayze to Monica Lewinsky, celebrities and dignitaries alike have shed tears during an interview with her.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also paid Walters a surprise visit. He sat down with the ladies of "The View" and sang Walters' praises.

"You made a difference in how journalism and particularly TV journalism is done today," Bloomberg said. "You set a new standard, you asked the tough questions in a nice way that not only got real answers so that the public was informed, but also didn't make enemies. You were never nasty about it."

The 83-year-old said that she plans to travel while she is still in good health.

“I want to go someplace and actually see it,” she said. “I’ve been to China three times. It would nice to go somewhere for more than a day."

Walters has spent 37 years at ABC News, joining the network in 1976 to become the first female co-anchor on an evening news program. Three years later, she became a co-host of ABC's "20/20" newsmagazine.

Before coming to ABC, she spent 15 years at NBC News, where she was a co-host of the "Today" show.

ABC News President Ben Sherwood said "there is only one Barbara Walters. We look forward to making her final year on television as remarkable, path-breaking and news-making as Barbara herself.

"We look forward to a year befitting her brilliant career," he said, "filled with exclusive interviews, great adventures and indelible memories."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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