I’m devastated. I spent all my childhood practising giving interviews to Barbara Walters, and now my dream of having her make me cry has been shattered! The legendary interviewer announced on The View this morning that after 50 years on television, she will be retiring in the summer of 2014:
I have been on television 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 — it has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating and occasionally bumpy ride, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m perfectly healthy, this is my decision, I have been thinking about it for a long time, and this is what I want to do. I will, however, continue as co-executive producer of The View with Bill Getty as long as the program is aired. There will be special occasions, and I will come back — I’m not walking into the sunset, but I don’t want to appear on another program, I don’t want to climb another mountain. I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women, and okay some men, who will be taking my place. And most of all, I want to thank everybody here. I’ve had an amazing career beyond anything I could ever imagined. And I hope I may have also inspire other women to make television in front or behind the cameras as a career. I smile when some young women say I grew up watching you on TV — it’s their time now. But remember, I have a another whole year to go. I look forward to next year, my last season, during which we have exciting things planned for ABC News and The View. And most of all, I want to say now to all of you who have been watching me for so many years and who have traveled the same road that I have travelled with me. We’ve been together a long time. My cup runneth over. I thank you, thank you, thank you.
Check out a video clip of Barbara’s announcement. It includes a retrospective of her groundbreaking career, which saw her go from being a pioneer “Today girl” on the Today Show to becoming the first female co-host on American news: