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Barbara Walters Retires After 50 years in broadcasting

May 15 2014, 11:17pm CDT | by , in News

Barbara Walters Retires After 50 years in broadcasting
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The journalist filmed her final appearance on the ABC daytime talk show, which airs on Friday

Barbara Walters has taped her last episode as co-host of "The View".

The journalist filmed her final appearance on the ABC daytime talk show, which airs on Friday, on Thursday afternoon in Manhattan, with Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton among the surprise guests who showed up to say goodbye.

“The View,” which has been celebrating her all week, will send her off in style Friday morning (10 a.m. on ABC). A two-hour primetime special (8-10 p.m.) follows later in the evening.

CNN noted in a report that Walters will remain under contract to ABC for some time, and she will continue to pursue big-ticket interviews. In interviews, she has hinted that her future plans could involve creating new shows, maybe outside ABC.

"I knew it was time," Walters said in one of those interviews, with CNN's Chris Cuomo on "New Day." "I like all the celebration, that's great, but in my heart, I thought, 'I want to walk away while I'm still doing good work.' So I will."

Cuomo asked, "Why leave now? Just to make it easier for us?"
 
She answered, "You have to leave sometime, don't you?"

In a speech on Wednesday night at a party ABC held in her honor, Walters asked the same question others have asked her: "I've had the most amazing career. How do I just walk away and say goodbye?"

"Well," she said, "I will put it this way. From the bottom of my heart, to all of you with whom I've worked -- to all of you who have watched and been at my side for so many years -- to the wonderful producers I've worked with and production assistants, everybody up and down the line, I can say: 'Thank you, thank you, thank you.'

"But ... but ..." she added playfully, "who knows what the future brings!"
 
Walters joined NBC's The Today Show as a writer and researcher in 1961.  She was able to move up the ladder to become the show's regular "Today Girl" doing weather reports and various assignments for the morning show.  She then later moved up to become the Co-Anchor on ABC's evening news which later transitioned to her role for doing iconic interviews for the show 20/20. 

Walters has currently been in semi-retirement since 2004, working as the co-host and producer for her television show "The View."  Since she is still under contract with ABC, Walters will continue to be an executive producer for the show after her last one airs on Friday.

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