Sara Haines is close to finalizing a deal to return to “The View” as its newest co-host, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
Haines, who had previously served on the ABC daytime talker from 2016-2018, will replace Abby Hunstman, who left the show back in January. She has filled in as a guest co-host sporadically in Huntsman’s absence.
“The View” returns from its summer hiatus on Sept. 24. ABC declined to comment.
Prior to her first “View” stint, Haines was a weekend anchor on “Good Morning America.” She left “The View” to host the third hour of “GMA” on weekdays with Michael Strahan (that hour would eventually add Keke Palmer and be renamed “Strahan, Sara and Keke”). It was pulled off the air in March in favor of coronavirus coverage.
Huntsman left the show in order to work on her father’s Utah gubernatorial campaign, which he ended up losing to Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox in the Republican primary. Along with Meghan McCain, Huntsman had been a conservative voice on the show.
Haines’ return leaves McCain — who will be on maternity leave this fall — as the show’s lone conservative voice during an election year in which incumbent President Donald Trump will be challenged by presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who just named California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. McCain has frequently criticized Trump, stopping short of saying she’ll vote against him this November.
McCain has endorsed former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss as her “View” fill-in, though no decision has been made.
Variety first reported on Haines’ potential return.