Barbara Walters is retiring.
Rumors about the legendary journalist’s retirement have been circling for months, and Walters finally confirmed the news today. Walters said in a statement that she would be retiring in the summer of 2014.
Walters said: “I am very happy with my decision and look forward to a wonderful and special year ahead both on ‘The View’ and with ABC News. I created ‘The View’ and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it.”
Walters will announce her decision to her TV audience during Monday’s episode of The View.
Barbara Walters is a pioneering journalist. She was the first female host of Today and the first female host of an evening news program. Walters is now 83-years-old and will retire from after more than four decades in the business.
Walters said: “It’s not something that just happened … I’ve been thinking, When is the time? When I was turning 70 it was pretty old for television — to me now that’s a kid! But I remember thinking then, Is this the time to go?”
Walters has had a few health problems recently (she had surgery to replace a heart valve in 2011, suffered a concussion last January and then got the chicken pox) but she insists that she isn’t retiring due to her health.
Walters said: “I am not leaving because I am in ill health … I’m now fine. I had the chickenpox, which is ridiculous. I had never had it when I was a child, but I hugged someone who had shingles. I fell and got bloodied. It was not the chickenpox that was scary, it was the concussion. It was the same thing as Hillary Clinton fainting and falling. Chelsea said she needs to get her mother and me helmets.”
Are you surprised that Barbara Walters is retiring?