Following ongoing speculation about her future, veteran US broadcaster Barbara Walters, 83, will retire in 2014.
She is set to announce the news on The View on Monday (Tuesday Australian time), the show she created in 1997. She will remain as Executive Producer.
“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,” she said. “I created The View and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it.”
Walters has been with ABC News for 37 years but began her career in 1961 at NBC’s Today Show, where she eventually became a co-host.
“No one was more surprised than I,” she says of her on-air career. “I wasn’t beautiful, like many of the women on the program before me, [and] I had trouble pronouncing my r’s. I still do!”
But it is her feature interviews that brought her international attention with Fidel Castro, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat and Israel’s Menachem Begin to celebs such as Tom Cruise. She has also interviewed every U.S. president and first lady from the Nixons to the current administration.
“I asked Vladimir Putin if he ever ordered anyone to be killed,” she recalls. “For the record, he said no”
Meanwhile, Walters, is looking forward to taking a break — and seeing what the next generation of journalists has to offer.
“I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain,” she says. “I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and OK, some men too — who will be taking my place.”
source tv tonight and abcnews.com