The official word:
She was the first woman ever to co-host a morning show and the first female co-anchor of a network evening newscast. She co-anchored one of the longest-running newsmagazines, was host and producer of countless top-rated primetime specials and is the creator and co-host of one of daytime’s most successful talk and entertainment programs. She has arguably interviewed more statesmen and stars than any other journalist in history, and her notable interviews and controversial reports have made some of the most memorable moments on television. She didn’t just report history, she made history. She is Barbara Walters. And now, after more than five decades entertaining and informing generations of Americans, Barbara Walters says goodbye to daily television on FRIDAY, MAY 16 with her final co-host appearance on “The View” and a two-hour ABC primetime special celebrating her incredible life, both on screen and off.
Behind the scenes Walters will continue to be an active part of “The View,” the multi-generational talk show she created for ABC, in her role as Executive Producer along with Executive Producer Bill Geddie, her producing partner of more than 25 years. Last May, Walters announced live on the program that the 17th season for “The View” would be her last. All season, “The View” has been celebrating Walters’ career by highlighting her most famous interviews with the ongoing series, “The Year of Barbara.”
Walters will also be a lifelong member of the ABC News team, making special appearances as news warrants.
ABC will honor the broadcast legend with a week-long celebration May 12-16.
· “The View” will celebrate Walters’ final week, culminating with her final co-host appearance on Friday, May 16, (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET).
· A two-hour primetime ABC special highlighting her illustrious, unparalleled career will air Friday, May 16, 9:00-11:00 p.m.
· ABC News Headquarters in New York City will be named in her honor during a dedication ceremony.
“In this business there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Walt Disney Company. “She’s a dear friend and colleague as well as someone I deeply admire, and 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.”
Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, added “Barbara Walters was one of the first people I met as an ABC page almost 38 years ago. She was fiercely intelligent, impressive and inspiring then, and remains so to this day. I am honored that I've had the rare opportunity to work, and learn, from her all these years. Her influence on television, and American culture, will resonate for decades to come.”