Barbara Walters to retire 'in May 2014 after a year of specials'









Barbara Walters on Monday rejected claims that she would be leaving ABC's 'The View' and that co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck was fired from the show for being 'too conservative'

Rumors? Barbara Walters is set to announce she will retire in May 2014


Barbara Walters will retire in May 2014, it was revealed today.

The
'Queen of ABC News', she is rumored to be announcing her retirement in
the coming weeks after a spate of illnesses which had seen her off the
air for weeks.


According to Deadline, the 83-year-old will be given a big sendoff with retrospectives and other special content in
the weeks leading to her retirement that would celebrate her 52-year
broadcast career.


It is unclear whether or not she will remain completely off the air or make occasional appearances and specials.

There
have been rumors about Barbara's retirement for years, which kicked off
after she first accidentally told President Obama in December 2011.


She
laughed off the incident as a joke but after she fell and then was
hospitalized with chicken pox, many wondered if she would return to the
airwaves.



But last month she resumed her duties on The View, which she produces and
hosts, and at ABC News.


Walters
is best known as one of the top interviewers on U.S. television,
counting an array of world leaders as subjects, including Cuba's Fidel
Castro, Britain's Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and every
U.S. president since Richard Nixon.


She got her start in television journalism in 1961 as a writer on NBC's Today, a show that she would later co-anchor.

Earlier
this month, Walters was forced to hit back at claims that co-host
Elizabeth Hasselbeck was going to be fired from The View for being 'too
conservative'.


Right
now the only person who cannot leave this show is me,' Walters said,
following a story that appeared in the New York Daily News claiming that
she might step down from her role as executive producer and co-host.


She
added that rumors of Hasselbeck getting fired are 'false' though it
looks unlikely she will stay in the role much longer after the recent
rumors.






Babs

Walters is best known as one of the top
interviewers on U.S. television, counting an array of world leaders as
subjects, including Cuba's Fidel Castro, Britain's Margaret Thatcher,
Saddam Hussein of Iraq and every U.S. president since Richard Nixon






T.V. journalist Barbara Walters attends the Go-Go Lounge: A Groovy Spring Gala Tribute to Larry Norton, MD May 2, 2001 at Cipriani's in New York City



babs




Walters got her start in television journalism in 1961 as a writer on NBC's Today a show that she would later co-anchor







'We have no plans for Elisabeth to
leave this show,' she said. 'The truth is we love Elisabeth. I like her
personally and she's just a wonderful person.



'But beyond that, we value her point of view.'


Walters made the remarks after one of
the show's longtime co-hosts, Joy Behar, announced that she would be
leaving, ignited a flurry of reports about the future of 'The View.'


'When you announced this last week,' Walters said to Behar on Monday, 'It was very bittersweet.'

'You have your reasons for wanting to go and I'm happy when you're happy,' she said, adding that she had 'discovered' Behar.

Behar then read off a list of her top 10 reasons for leaving 'The View,' which included: 'ABC won't let me
drink on the air like Hoda and Kathy Lee.'






Walters (right) said rumors of Elisabeth Hasselbeck (left) getting fired are 'false'

Walters (right) said rumors of Elisabeth Hasselbeck (left) getting fired are 'false'








Not leaving: 'Right now the only person who cannot leave this show is me,' Walters said, following a story that claimed she might step down from her role as executive producer and co-host

Not leaving: 'Right now the only person who
cannot leave this show is me,' Walters said, following a story that
claimed she might step down from her role as executive producer and
co-host








Out: Joy Behar said there are many reasons for her decision to leave 'The View,' including that she could not drink on air

Out: Joy Behar said there are many reasons for her decision to leave 'The View,' including that she could not drink on air


Other reasons she gave were: 'I have a pathological fear
of catching childhood diseases like mumps from Barbara;' 'The contact
high from sitting next to Whoopi keeps giving me the munchies;' 'Like
Barbara, I'm developing an unhealthy attraction to Elisabeth;' and 'I'll
finally have a chance to fulfill my dreams going a whole week without
putting on a brazier.'


Walters didn't address new reports that she is pursuing actress Brook Shields to replace Behar.




According to an exclusive report by ShowBiz411, Barbara Walters wants the 47-year-old actress and mother of two to join the TV panel.



The website's sources say the agreement between ABC and Shields has yet to be finalized, but is very close to being signed.





Linked: Walters and Hasselback walked onto the set arm-in-arm on Monday

Linked: Walters and Hasselback walked onto the set arm-in-arm on Monday


Walters
reportedly believes that the Princeton-educated, articulate Shields
would be a perfect fit, and her extensive Hollywood connections would be
invaluable to booking guests.



Ms Shields has not publicly commented on the rumors of her joining the program.


Behar, 70, will be bidding farewell to The View in August when her contract expires after nearly 17 years as a co-host.


Showbiz411
reported that the standup comic and TV stalwart has 'just had enough.'
She may be returning to Headline News to host her own talk show again.



‘It seemed like the right time,’ Behar told Deadline.
‘You reach a point when you say to yourself, “Do I want to keep doing
this?” There are other things on my plate I want to do — I’ve been
writing a play, I’ve been neglecting my stand-up.’







Denied: Barbara Walters denied rumors that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was fired from 'The View'



New addition: Actress Brooke Shields, 47, is reportedly in talks with ABC to join the cast of The View




Denied: Barbara Walters rejected rumors that
Elisabeth Hasselbeck (right) was fired from 'The View.' She did not
address speculation that actress Brooke Shields, 47, is in talks with
ABC to join the cast


In a statement to Deadline, ABC
said:, ‘Joy Behar has been instrumental in the success of The View from
the very beginning. We wish her all the best in this next chapter, and
are thrilled that we have her for the remainder of the season.’


After
it was announced that Behar will be leaving, Twitter lit up with
well-wishers offering the veteran TV presenter their support.


In response, Behar tweeted on Friday: 'Thanks so much for all your very kind words.'

Walters
addressed Hasselbeck's future at the show after it was reported last
week that the 35-year-old's contract would not be renewed because she
was too right-wing for the show's viewership.






Big changes: Elisabeth Hasselbeck, bottom left, reportedly has been ousted from teh show after nearly a decade for being too conservative, while Joy Behar, top right, decided to leave on her own after nearly 17 years

Big changes: Elisabeth Hasselbeck, bottom left,
reportedly has been ousted from teh show after nearly a decade for being
too conservative, while Joy Behar, top right, decided to leave on her
own after nearly 17 years


Hasselbeck has
been a controversial figure on the show, famously sparring with former
co-host Rosie O'Donnell, a liberal, over the war in Afghanistan in 2007
and with Walters over GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the
2012 campaign.


But Walters said Monday that Hasselbeck's point of view was a valued part of the show.

The View has had the same cast since 2007, when Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd arrived to replace O'Donnell and Star Jones.
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