The TV journalist prepares to depart from the show she created

By Sheila Cosgrove Baylis
April 07, 2014 10:50 AM
Donna Svennevik/ABC

Barbara Walters has announced what will be her final day on daily television before she begins her retirement.

Walters’s last day co-hosting the show she created, The View, will be May 16, ABC News reports.

“This was the right time,” Walters, 84, told AARP Magazine. “The kinds of interviews I did all these years, nobody wants them anymore. You have three minutes of a morning show. That’s different from before.”

A two-hour special on her groundbreaking career will air that same night, from 9-11 p.m. ET.

Joining the network in 1976 as the first female news anchor was not easy.

“When I became the first woman co-anchor of a network news program, I was vilified. That did hurt me,” she tells AARP”. “I thought my career was over. No one wanted a woman, and they certainly didn’t seem to want me, and I had a co-host [Harry Reasoner] who really didn’t want me. What saved me was that Roone Arledge, who was president of ABC News, felt I had value.”

Walters will continue to executive produce The View and will contribute to ABC News “as news warrants,” the network said.

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As for what comes next, Walters says she will enjoy her new free time.

“Maybe go to a movie or a museum, maybe sleep until 9, maybe see a friend,” she said. “I look forward to not having every day planned, or having to be at a certain place at a certain time.”