Barbara Walters: Ready to retire next year


Barbara Walters, whose television career spans more than a half century, will retire in May 2014, according to an executive familiar with the newswoman's plans.

The formal announcement of Walters' plans will probably be made this May on her ABC daytime program, "The View."

Walters' decision follows a year in which her health became a national story. She suffered a concussion in Washington after the inauguration. That developed into an infection that was ultimately diagnosed as a case of chicken pox.

In 2010, Walters underwent a successful heart bypass operation.

In recent years, Walters, 83, has stepped back from a number of her longtime roles. But she maintained her base at "The View," a consistently successful program she created.

But most of Walters' career was spent at network news divisions, first at NBC, where she became the first prominent woman to anchor the "Today" show, and then at ABC. There she started as the first woman to anchor a network evening newscast and went on to become one of the network's chief correspondents, with the newsmagazine "20/20" as the base for many of her interviews.

She also gained fame for her annual interview special that preceded coverage of the Academy Awards, a program that was often among the highest-rated news specials of the year.

-- Bill Carter,
New York Times


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