Barbara Walters confirmed the widely speculated rumors that she will be retiring from television next year. The 83-year-old made the announcement during Monday’s (May 13th) episode of The View in a heartfelt speech which ended with her thanking the loyal viewers who have been watching her on television over her 50 year career.
Barbara said, I have been on television continuously for over 50 years…ugh! But in the summer of 2014…a year from now…I plan to retire from appearing on television at all. It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating, and occasionally bumpy ride and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m perfectly healthy. This is my decision. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and this is what I want to do. I will however continue as co-executive producer on The View with Bill Getty as long as the program is aired. There will be special occasions and I will come back…I’m not walking into the sunset but I don’t want to appear on another program. I don’t want to climb another mountain. I want instead to sit in a sunny field and admire the very gifted women…and ok, some men too…who will be taking my place. And most of all, I want to thank everybody here. I’ve had an amazing career beyond anything I could ever have imagined and I hope I may also have inspired other women to make television in front or behind the cameras as a career. I smile when some young woman says ‘I grew up watching you on TV.’ It’s their time now. But remember, I have another whole year to go and I look forward to the next year. To my last season during which we have exciting things planned for ABC News and The View. And most of all, I want to say now to all of you who have been watching me for so many years and who have traveled the same road that I have traveled with me…we’ve been together a long time. My cup runneth over. I thank you…thank you…thank you.