A year after her retirement plans first became public, Barbara Walters has set May 16 as her final daily appearance on “The View.”
ABC will use that Friday as a day of celebrations and tributes to the 84-year-old journalist, who joined the network in 1976 and became the first female anchor on an evening news program. She later became the co-host of ABC’s “20/20” and launched “The View,” an all-women roundtable talk program, in 1997.
Fittingly, the network will air a two-hour, primetime special in her honor on the day she signs off from “The View,” and at some point this spring, will name its New York City news headquarters in her honor.
“In this business there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters,” Disney CEO and Chairman Robert Iger said in a statement. “She’s a dear friend and colleague as well as someone I deeply admire, and 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 will continue to contribute to ABC News as events warrant, the network said.