UPDATE: Howard Kurtz states that a source of his claims Walters will retire in 2014.
A source confirms that Barbara Walters will step down in May 2014, but wants to announce it on her own terms. Hard in the Twitter age
— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) March 28, 2013
Today, within a couple hours of one another, a number of conflicting reports hit the Web about ABC’s Barbara Walters. Some claimed Walter’s would retire in May of 2014, others claimed that wasn’t true, and still others hinted that ABC had released the rumor in the hopes of nudging the 83 year-old out the door.
She’s survived co-host battles, open heart surgery and a case of chicken pox, but even Barbara Walters is mortal, and her tenure as co-host of “The View” seems to be coming to an end.
It appears the 83-year-old Walters is planning to retire in May 2014, after 17 seasons of co-hosting the ABC daytime talk show she co-created in 1997.
Multiple outlets have reported Walters’ upcoming departure, including Deadline, which was first with the story. A representative for ABC had no comment when asked about the situation.
ShowBiz411 is reporting that ABC might have just “Jay Leno’d” to nudge her into retiring and that she has no plans of retiring.
TV Newser reports that ABC News will use the next year to bombard us with tributes and specials. Because in the end, the media never passes on an opportunity to celebrate itself.
Regardless of whether Walters retires now or five years from now, it is a shame she tarnished her legacy as a journalist by launching the left-wing “View.” People are likely to remember Walters only as the “first woman this” or the “first woman that,” and for her shrill morning show.
Walters’ legacy will be one of identity politics and Joy Behar instead of “the work.”
Much of my generation will always find it impossible to remember Walters without thinking of this.
Forty-one years ago in the first grade, if memory serves, I read about Barbara Walters making a million dollars a year in the “Weekly Reader.”
She has been around forever.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC