Home Celebrity AMBUSH! Did ABC Just “Leno” Barbara Walters? She Has No Plans to...

UPDATE: Barbara Walters was totally ambushed by ABC today, my sources say. And the reality is, if she were even contemplating retirement of some kind, either Liz Smith or Cindy Adams would have reported it first. Now every media outlet has picked up this crazy story, and it’s quickly becoming “fact.” Stay turned to see if Walters rebuts. Interesting timing too since “The View” is not live tomorrow, but taped for Good Friday. ABC really played it well.

Earlier: A couple of stories popped up this afternoon in Hollywood columns claiming Barbara Walters was set to announce her retirement. Ha ha. It seems ABC News may have done to Walters what they did to Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and what NBC just did to Jay Leno and Matt Lauer. My source says that Walters had only discussed retiring officially from ABC News, not “The View.” She actually owns a piece of that show.

also read: http://www.showbiz411.com/2013/03/29/barbara-walters-is-not-leaving-the-news-the-news-is-leaving-barbara-walters

But ABC may have decided that the only way to make Walters retire was to announce it and see what happened. It’s too convenient that the two stories were published within a half hour of each other. I’m no particular fan of Walters, but this seemed pretty blatant today. I called a close friend of hers who said, “Barbara has been talking to them about retiring from the news side, but not entertainment.” Indeed, the Walters everyone knows would never, ever completely retire from television. It’s her life.

These stories today were also well timed by someone at ABC who knew that Walters’ personal publicist, Cindi Berger, was out of the country, traveling, and on business elsewhere. Berger’s office was surprised by the afternoon ambush. But this is the Machiavellian way networks conduct themselves these days.

PS Any ABC insider “knowledgeable about the situation” insists that Walters was not ambushed, and that this is exactly what she wanted.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
138 replies to this post
  1. BW is one of few “Class Acts” left in national broadcast journalism. She is literate, informed, and rations her opinion sparingly. But since none of the old broadcasting newsrooms have maintained their former integrity, it is only logical that ABC eschews its remaining vestiges.

  2. I hope it is true! After all the people she ambushed over the years hopefully justice has resulted.
    She has always had an anti conservative agenda and has demeaned people for their political difference with her.

  3. Barbara who? I stopped watching Mainstream propaganda TV long ago. It’s all B/S, propaganda and mind-numbing crap anymore…

  4. Definitely time to go before she dies on stage. She had a show years ago basically the same as he View, ” Not for women only”. It was a bust on NBC.

  5. She should leave now to spend more time with her family and her dearest friend the tyrant slaughtering the citizens of Syria.

    The world does not need another celebrity-worshipping soft news anchor on TV. Barbra should have been fired long ago.

  6. i think if she wanted to retire, she doesn’t need abc to announce it. she’s had a long career as someone who knows how to speak;. doesn’t need their help to make an announcement.

  7. Barbara ‘slut’ Walters … it’s common knowledge that she slept her way to prominence and created her career by prostituting herself …. can someone please explain why she should be venerated as a media icon!

  8. How in the world will the new, young progressive left ever get their chance if the old ones won’t fade away and accept euthanasia like a good little liberal?

  9. Watched the View once and that was all I could take. Goodbye Barbara! At 83 it’s time to pack it in. Finish out your life by doing some charitable work; concentrate on getting ready for eternity. There is an instruction manual on how to do such a thing.

  10. I would be happy to see her go. She is so self centered she has continuously put herself and her wants and needs before everything else including her child and marriages. She doesn’t stand for much of anything good, she is a liberal and a socialist. Hope she takes the rest of those disgusting view women with her. Now that show has a definate political agenda and it isn’t a good one. Those women are actually stupid and make all women look dumb and superficial.

  11. I hope its true and she retires. She should have been put out to pasture long ago and The View should be taken off the air as well. It would have been smarter of her to keep her leftist leanings to herself all these years.

  12. Aside from some of her far-left views, I’ve always enjoyed Barbara’s reporting and commentary, she always did her homework. She has never led me to believe she was anything other than an honest journalist (a rarity in these times). I wish her the best of luck.

  13. Couldn’t happen to a more cynical, blatantly insider elitist, and elitist who is very well-positioned to make a killing from the decades of organized Chicago-style plunder perpetrated by her giant MSM corporate employers over the last 40 years.

  14. Good riddance. It is about time that you watch other people on television. You may even be surprised to learn something new. Boo Hoo. I feel so sad for you.

  15. I was once a daily viewer but ‘The view’ gradually revealed itself as a shrill and biased reservoir of virulent liberalism, peaking during the presidential campaign. Only Barbara Walter’s seasoned and more reasoned viewpoint kept Elizabeth’s lone conservative voice from being totally dissed and dismissed.
    Political leanings aside, I truly admire Walters. If she’s leaves ‘The View’, so do I.

  16. Please retire Barbara! Please! I beg you. We’ve had enough. Please go away. Can’t you see how frail and fragile you are? You can’t even mover your lips! Thank you for your service, but it’s time to retire. And take Whoopi with you, … please?

  17. Assuming it’s true, the question I have to ask is…why? After all the time she’s been doing television – news and entertainment – hasn’t Barbara Walters and ABC earned the mutual respect to discuss how she’d announce her retirement and do it with a little dignity? How about a 10 minute segment on the View where she’d announce her news retirement or vice versa?

    America has degenerated into a circus of idiocy when one of the most respected journalists on TV has to resort (or their network has to resort) to these kinds of monkeybusiness to announce a retirement. We have all lost our dignity, our minds, and whatever shred of respect for each other we once had. Nowhere is this more evident than our politics and our television.

  18. Some people just never get the hint or the message. They never figure out that if you don’t know who it is…it’s you! The only way BW was going out was with her toes up. She’s had a great run but it’s been over for a number of years. Unfortunately, she is one of the few who just doesn’t know it.

  19. I think The View has outlived it’s entertainment value. It’s like how many ‘gotchas’ each can deliver to another. I stopped DVRing it a year ago. Whoopie is b-o-r-i-n-g and brought nothing to the table but sarcasm and racial bias. America is sick of the same old show-just a different day.

  20. She recently fired a flaming wicked radical Liberal from the program. Flaming wicked radical Liberal executives at ABC are going to pay her back.

  21. Couldn’t happen to a better “journalist”. On the politically correct side of the issues. Did all the right things for administration. Now betrayed? could it possibly be for a few shekels? Just look at it as sacrificing one of the loyal troops for the greater good

  22. C’mon, who cares? She is just a tired, old, multi millionare Liberal has been, who hasn’t been relevant in 30 years and is as vapid as they come. Then again, all Liberals are like that. Put her with the rest of the Progressives and their combined IQ wouldn’t amount to that of a wooden nickle.

  23. Just remember, we have been told to trust ABC news. Barbara did, and look at what happened to her! Would not trust ABC or NBC any further than I could throw their headquarters! I am not a fan of Barbara Walters, but the truth is, she has made millions for that network. This is the appreciation she gets.

  24. Wa Wa needs to go directly into an assisted living home. No more TV spots, collect no more money for her leftist BS propaganda – just like monopoly – go directly to the home and put a muzzle of her because we’ve had enough of her crap….

  25. I am not a Barbara Walters fan, either, always feeling that she has been out of her depth since leaving the Today show; but the network’s conduct in announcing her retirement without her consent is shameful and churlish, after all she has done while at ABC, proving once again that there is not a single network executive who is anything other than a dirt bag. Shame on ABC for doing this, going done the same dishonorable and graceless path as NBC with Leno and Lauer.

  26. I just talked with Walter and he said he doesn’t even work for a network and he’s certainly not retiring. (wondering why you pluralized his name?)

    So no. Walter’s not retiring.

  27. But this is the Machiavellian way networks conduct themselves these days.

    Hahaha…. You had it right until you tacked on “these days.”

  28. It definitely is time for BABA WAWA to retire!!! For goodness sake she’s 83 years old !!!!! To be quite honest, I think the View is go off the air. It is stale and old. I watched it years ago but with that irritating Joy and dumb Sherri I had to keep the TV off of ABC at that time

  29. “no fan of Barbara Walters…” It’s a poor secret that Walters is sexually daliant with major interviewees, and admitting that Hillary always wanted to be on top…

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