As expected, Barbara Walters today announced the end of a broadcasting career that began during the Truman administration, People reports. "Let me just say I have been on television continuously for over 50 years," Walters said on The View today, adding that she is "perfectly healthy" and this is her decision and she's "very happy" with it. The veteran journalist, who has been at ABC for nearly 40 years and will be 84 this fall, plans to step down from The View next summer, but will stay on as executive producer and will be involved in selecting new co-hosts after Joy Behar leaves the show, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Rumors of Walters' retirement began in March following health scares including a fall at the British ambassador's residence and a bout of chicken pox. "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 in a statement issued by the network. "I created The View and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made an appearance on The View today, telling Walters she is his hero. As for what she'll do next? She might make occasional appearances on TV, Politico reports, but mostly, she said today, "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."