Stay Connected


FILE - This March 26, 2014 photo provided by ABC shows, co-host Barbara Walters on
FILE - In this undated file image provided by ABC, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad speaks with ABC News Anchor Barbara Walters for an interview that aired on Dec. 7, 2011, on ABC. On Friday, May 16, 2014, capping a spectacular half-century run she began as the so-called FILE - In this image released by ABC, Barbara Walters poses with Tom Cruise during an interview for her annual special, FILE - This Sept. 21, 1977 file photo shows Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat, right, presenting ABC's Barbara Walters with a handmade dress and mother- of-pearl box following an interview with him in Beirut. On Friday, May 16, 2014, capping a spectacular half-century run she began as the so-called FILE - This May 8, 1980 file photo, former President Richard M. Nixon answers question  during interview by ABC television personality Barbara Walters in New York. On Friday, May 16, 2014, capping a spectacular half-century run she began as the so-called FILE - This May 14, 2005 file photo shows TV personality Barbara Walters at the Legends Ball, an award ceremony hosted by Oprah Winfrey  in Santa Barbara, Calif.  On Friday, May 16, 2014, capping a spectacular half-century run she began as the so-called FILE - This June 6, 1977 file photo shows ABC news correspondent Barbara Walters, left, being driven by Cuban leader Fidel Castro on a sightseeing tour in Cuba.  On Friday, May 16, 2014, capping a spectacular half-century run she began as the so-called FILE - This Oct. 5, 1976 file photo shows co-anchors Barbara Walters, right, and Harry Reasoner, of ABC News on the set of the evening news program after Walters debuted as the nation's first female anchorwoman, in New York City.  On Friday, May 16, 2014, capping a spectacular half-century run she began as the so-called Barbara Walters reacts as she addresses staff members from the NBC This May 10, 2014 photo released by NBC shows cast members Colin Jost, left, and Cecily Strong, center, with TV personality Barbara Walters who made an appearance on the Weekend Update segment of This May 10, 2014 photo released by NBC shows cast member Cecily Strong, left, with TV personality Barbara Walters during an appearance on the Weekend Update segment of Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Joy Behar and Barbara Walters on the set of ABC's

A ‘view’ without Barbara Walters


NEW YORK (AP) — When Barbara Walters came on the scene, John Kennedy was in the White House, a motorist could fill ‘er up for three bucks and no one had heard of the Beatles.

On Friday, capping a spectacular half-century run she began as the so-called “Today” Girl, Walters says goodbye to ABC’s “The View.”

Behind the scenes she will remain as an executive producer of the New York-based talk show she created 17 years ago, and she’ll make ABC News appearances as events warrant and stories catch her eye.

“It’s not as if I’m walking into the sunset,” cautions Walters, who at 84 looks a decade or two younger as she nurses black coffee in her dressing room amid a tireless pace that, in the same breath, she insists will soon be coming to a halt: “I’m NOT going to be doing a five-day-a-week show, and I’m NOT going after every big ‘get.’”

On Thursday’s “The View,” all 11 past and present co-hosts reunite to honor her as she retires from daily television. Hours after her big farewell on Friday’s “View” (seen weekdays at 11 a.m. EDT), “Barbara Walters: Her Story” airs as a two-hour retrospective (9 p.m. EDT).

“Then on May 17,” she pledges, “I’m going to be sleeping until noon. May 18, I’m going to sleep until noon.”

But what about the day after that? “People ask me, ‘How are you gonna feel?’ I don’t know! It’s a new chapter!”

Not just for her. Since the early 1960s, Walter has served as a journalistic throughline for her viewers, an arbiter connecting the dots during five decades of events, newsmakers and stars at NBC’s “Today” (from 1961 to 1976), as the first woman co-anchor of ABC’s “World News Tonight,” on her scores of “big get” specials and a quarter-century co-hosting “20/20.”

And she did it after starting out as a “Girl” who crashed the “Mad Man”-esque world of TV news’ male dominance.

Asked to speculate on what might land her name in history books, she cites the “many really wonderful young women now on television. If I helped to pave the way, that’s more important than if anyone remembers my name.

“And my longevity on the air,” she adds as a backup legacy: “That one can work as long as I’ve worked, and still be vital — it demonstrates there’s no age limit for people. And there shouldn’t be!”

Walters announced her retirement more than a year ago, and emphasizes it was her choice, motivated because, well, it just seemed time. “But I feel great,” she says. “I’m in perfect health. I’ve got a lot of energy.”

Not that she dismisses broader implications of this looming new passage awaiting her.

“I’m walking away from a career of 38 years, just at ABC News. So I think, ‘What’s the next milestone?’ The next milestone is DEATH!” A wry laugh. “Oh, thanks a LOT!”

But as Walters’ career thus far has made clear, she is nothing if not defiant, with a lifetime spent challenging assumptions and naysayers.

Just ask Bill Geddie, who continues as co-executive producer of “The View” with Walters in a partnership born some 25 years ago.

Back then, Geddie, a former “Good Morning America” producer in his early 30s, had grabbed her offer to produce Walters’ prime-time specials — and did it, he recalls, against everyone’s advice.

“They said, ‘She’s got two, maybe three more years. Nobody’s gonna watch a woman over 60.’” And he laughs.

“I don’t think they realized, even by that time, how driven she was, how good she was, how this was not just a job for her, this was her life.”

Geddie acknowledges that now, finally, Walters faces a profound change in her storied life. “But do I think we’ve seen the last of Barbara Walters? Absolutely not.”



Back to Features
Top Stories of the Week

Police: 2 adults, 5 juveniles arrested after breaking into Lyman …
WALLINGFORD – Two adults and five juveniles accused of breaking into Lyman Hall High School are scheduled to appear in court Friday. Montgomery Lamar Barshawn, … more ...

Police: Drunk Wallingford man wielded gun inside Jake’s Martini Bar …
WALLINGFORD – Police say a local man caused a disturbance and brandished a handgun inside a Center Street bar after he was refused service. David … more ...

Meriden man gets 25 years for assault that left man …
HARTFORD — A Meriden man involved in an assault that left one man permanently disabled and another seriously injured has been sentenced to serve 25 … more ...

Man charged in March drug raid arrested again by Meriden …
MERIDEN — Police surveillance led to the arrest of two people on drug charges last week, including a 25-year-old city man previously arrested in March … more ...

Meriden man accused of “groping” co-worker in Cheshire …
CHESHIRE — A Meriden man accused of “groping” a co-worker was released on $10,000 bond and is due to appear in court next week, police … more ...

Comments