LOS ANGELES – She’s survived co-host battles, open heart surgery and a case of chicken pox, but even Barbara Walters is mortal, and her tenure as co-host of “The View” seems to be coming to an end.
It appears the 83-year-old Walters is planning to retire in May 2014, after 17 seasons of co-hosting the ABC daytime talk show she co-created in 1997.
Multiple outlets have reported Walters’ upcoming departure, including Deadline, which was first with the story. A representative for ABC had no comment when asked about the situation.
Walters has not yet addressed the reports on the show, but her departure would be the latest from the long-running show, which is in the midst of many changes. Joy Behar, the only other co-host to have been on the show as long as Walters, has already announced that she will leave “The View” in August.
There have also been reports that Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who has long been a focal point of controversy because of her outspoken conservative views, would also be leaving the show. However, Walters addressed those reports on the air and said that there were “no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show.”
As reported by the Los Angeles Times earlier this month, the changes at “The View” are due to ratings pressure, as the show has seen its ratings soften, while CBS’ similarly formatted “The Talk” has gained in viewers.
Walters, meanwhile, has had a very stressful 2013 so far, with an extended sick leave that began with a fall in the home of the British ambassador in January and ended up with a full-blown case of chicken pox, brought on by a New Year’s Eve smooch with actor Frank Langella.
The show’s other panelists, Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd, have been on “The View” since 2007.