Trailblazing US television journalist Barbara Walters, famed for her political and celebrity interviews in a career spanning more than half a century, is to retire next month, the ABC network confirmed on Monday.
Walters, 84, who had already confirmed she would retire in 2014, will bring the curtain down on 53 years of broadcasting when she co-hosts her chat show ‘The View’ for the last time on May 16.
“In this business there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters,” The Walt Disney Company CEO Robert A Iger said.
“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.”
Walters joined ABC in 1976, becoming the first female anchor of an evening news programme. ABC said Monday that its New York headquarters would be renamed in her honour to reflect her pioneering career. A two-hour special charting her career is to be screened by ABC on the night she steps down. Walters began her career in 1961 at NBC’s breakfast news and entertainment show ‘Today’, making a household name for herself before her groundbreaking move to ABC.
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