ABC will retire Barbara Walters on May 16th, in the middle of sweeps. They won’t let her finish out the season for ‘The View,” which usually wraps up around June 30. “The View” has new episodes during July sweeps, as well. But ABC is anxious to finish up Walters’ retirement. They’re not even letting her stay until the end of May!
You may remember the whole scenario last year. ABC leaked that Walters would retire before she had a chance to say anything. Then she said on The View that she’d make her own announcement at her own time, and had nothing to say at the moment.
Subsequently, I spoke to Barbara, who said she had no intention of retiring from anything. Those were her words verbatim.
But ABC had other ideas. Now they’ve also announced they’re named the New York Broadcast Center after Walters. I wonder if the announcer on Diane Sawyer’s evening news will say, “From the Barbara Walters news center in New York” at the start of every show. Seems unlikely.
Today’s ABC News press release says Walters may return to the air occasionally “as the news warrants.” I think that means when Henry Kissinger finally checks out.
Will Barbara really disappear from our screens? She’s addicted to celebrity and broadcasting. Look at Larry King, now doing infomercials and a talk show on a UHF station. Of course, she does turn 85 soon. But age will not stop Barbara Walters.