More than 50 years after she started her career as a writer/researcher for the Today show, veteran journalist Barbara Walters is ready to hang up her microphone for good, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline report. According to both outlets, the 84-year-old ABC News personality is set to retire in May 2014.
THR says Walters is expected to make the announcement herself in coming weeks but plans to stay on as a co-host for The View through one more year, in part to help the show through the coming transition period. As Us Weekly reported earlier this month, both Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck will be leaving their seats at the table after the current season.
Walters is still a force to be reckoned with on air, but offscreen, she's struggled recently with various health issues. Earlier this month, she revealed that she had contracted chicken pox from actor Frank Langella after they shared a hug on New Year's. And in January, she was hospitalized briefly when she fell and cut her forehead at the British Ambassador's residence.
Rumors about her retirement have been floating around for a while now, ever since she was overheard telling President Barack Obama in December 2011 that she needed "one more interview" with him before she retired "next year." At the time, an ABC News spokesperson dismissed the speculation, saying, "Barbara has joked that she's retiring every year since the Clinton administration."