Toodle-oo to ‘The View’: Hasselbeck Says Good-bye

Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walters on "The View" (Photo: ABC)

Elisabeth Hasselbeck said good-bye to “The View” Wednesday morning, just hours after news broke the night before that she’d taken a new job on “Fox & Friends.”

Her farewells to co-hosts Barbara Walters, Joy Behar, Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd in “The View’s” first segment put an official end to all the months of stories that insisted Hasselbeck would leave the show this summer, despite public statements to the contrary from Walters back in March and, more recently, Shepherd in May.

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Wednesday on “The View,” Hasselbeck, 36, maintained her poise, kept her voice steady and shed no visible tears as she announced she was leaving the ABC mid-morning talk show after a 10-year run.

She came on-stage in the show’s first moments arm-in-arm with Walters as the studio audience in New York gave her a standing ovation. The first words about Elisabeth came from Walters after the co-hosts — all except Shepherd, who was absent — sat down. “It was reported last night that our Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving us to join the Fox network. As you can see, I’m a little teary,” said Walters, 83.

“But I always want what’s best for you. You know how I feel about you. I’m happy that you’re going!” said Walters, who then realized that last statement didn’t sound quite right. “No, I’m not happy that you’re going! You tell us about it!”

“First of all, I’m very happy and excited to confirm that, indeed, I will be joining the ‘Fox & Friends’ team in September,” Hasselbeck said. “Today is officially my last day at ‘The View’.” She then thanked the show’s production staff for all of their support over the years, and singled out executive producer Bill Geddie for special praise.

Watch Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s Farewell Speech on “The View”:
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She then addressed each of her co-hosts individually. “I am just blessed to have gotten to call myself a friend of yours,” she said to Goldberg.

Turning to Behar, who’s also leaving the show later this summer, Hasselbeck noted that the pair’s political differences — Behar’s liberal views and Hasselbeck’s conservatism — never stood in the way of their friendship. “Joy and I have spent the last 10 years sparring over politics but you know I have an insane amount of respect for you. … I love you, I truly do.”

Addressing Shepherd, who was on a previously scheduled day off from the show, Hasselbeck said they talked on the phone the previous evening. “You’re my sister in Christ,” Hasselbeck said, facing the camera and speaking directly to Shepherd.

Hasselbeck’s comments seemed genuinely heartfelt. She thanked Walters for all of her guidance and instruction over the years. “I think it’s fair to say that over the course of a decade I feel as though I attended the Barbara Walters school of broadcasting and journalism. I feel that I have my masters in [communications] from being next to you. … I can’t ask for a better leader and mentor.”

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