Barbara Walters Announces Plan to Retire Next Year

Barbara Walters (Photo: ABC)

Barbara Walters will retire after giving herself one more season on “The View,” she announced in a statement reportedly released late Sunday night.

Walters, 83, made the announcement formally Monday morning on “The View” — the same show where she denied several months ago that a retirement plan was in the works.

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“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,” Walters said in the statement. “I created ‘The View’ and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it.”

Rumors first surfaced in March that Walters was mulling retirement. That was around the same time that Joy Behar, 70, announced that she’ll be leaving “The View” this summer after 16 seasons. Then there were the rumors that co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck would also be leaving.

But Walters quashed the stories about her own retirement and Hasselbeck’s exit in a strong statement she made on “The View” back then.

She did say at the time that she would make an announcement about her retirement at a time of her own choosing. That time is apparently now, as ABC and the other networks prepare to unveil their lineups and programming plans for next season this week in New York. ABC’s announcement is Tuesday, and it is now expected that Barbara Walters’ farewell season, after 60 years on TV, will be a big part of it.

“I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain,” Walters said. “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.”

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