Let the farewell festivities begin! A little less than a year after announcing her retirement, Barbara Walters has revealed that her final day as a co-host on The View will be Friday, May 16.
The 84-year-old veteran journalist has been a constant presence at the talk show's table since she created the program in 1997. She first joined ABC back in 1976; three years later, she became the co-host of 20/20.
In celebration of her 38-year career with the network, Walters' colleagues will honor her with a week-long goodbye on The View, beginning Monday, May 12, and culminating in a two-hour primetime special highlighting her life and career on Friday, May 16. But that's not all they have planned. In the ultimate tribute, ABC News Headquarters in New York City will be named in her honor during a dedication ceremony this spring.
"In this business, there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters," Robert A. Iger, chairman and chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, said in a press release about the ABC standout, who will continue to executive produce The View. "It's impossible to fully convey her impact and influence on television. She broke barriers, defied convention, made history, and set the standard for journalistic excellence for more than 50 years. It's hard to imagine television without her."
Added Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group: "Barbara Walters was one of the first people I met as an ABC page almost 38 years ago. She was fiercely intelligent, impressive, and inspiring then, and remains so to this day…Her influence on television, and American culture, will resonate for decades to come."
Walters, who got her start on NBC's Today show back in 1961, first confirmed her retirement in May 2013. "I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain," she said in a statement at the time. "I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women — and okay, some men, too — who will be taking my place."
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