Daily Israel Report

Television Icon Barbara Walters Set to Retire in 2014

Jewish American broadcasting icon Barbara Walters, 83, is reportedly set to announce her retirement in the coming weeks.
By Arutz Sheva staff
First Publish: 3/29/2013, 11:03 AM

Barbara Walters
Barbara Walters
AFP file

American broadcasting icon Barbara Walters, 83, is reportedly set to announce her retirement in the coming weeks.

The New York Times, quoting "an executive familiar with the newswoman's plans," said a formal announcement of Walter's retirement for next year 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 following her tenure as co-host of the NBC 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 an American evening network newscast and has interviewed scores of heads of state and other celebrities over the course of her career.

In 1977, she arranged the first-ever joint interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during the Camp David peace process.

She also covered former U.S. president Richard Nixon's landmark 1972 visit to China, held the first interview with Monica Lewinsky in 1999, the first sit-down with Al Gore after his narrow defeat in the 2000 election, and landed a rare hour-long primetime interview with Cuba's Fidel Castro.

In December 2011 she also landed a rare interview with embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in which he famously denied having ordered the killing of thousands of rebels.