WASHINGTON: US broadcasting icon Barbara Walters, 83, is poised to announce her retirement next year in the coming weeks, US news media reported on Thursday.
The New York Times, quoting “an executive familiar with the newswoman's plans,” said a formal announcement of Walter's retirement would likely be made on “The View,” a daytime talk show on ABC that she co-hosts.
It would be followed by a number of specials and retrospectives on Walters' long career at ABC News, which she joined in 1976 after a long stint as co-host of the NBC breakfast show “Today,” the source said.
The Hollywood Reporter, a showbiz trade journal, said it was told by its sources that Walters — who weathered a bout of chicken pox at the start of this year — was poised to retire in May 2014.
There was no immediate comment from ABC News or from Walters herself, who on March 20 told her 1.167 million Twitter followers that “The View” would return April 1 after a spring hiatus with “great guests to come — that's no joke!” In a career spanning more than half a century, Walters sometimes made news herself.
In 1976, she became the first woman ever to anchor a US evening network newscast, and her interviews with entertainers and politicians, notably on ABC's “20/20” newsmagazine program, were often must-see viewing.