The Hollywood Reporter Names 2013's 35 Most Powerful People in Media
This story first appeared in the April 26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Talk about a nondenial denial. Although network sources say Walters already had been planning to retire in 2014 when reports of it broke, the ABC News vet responded by saying, “I have no announcements to make,” on her daytime talk show, The View.
The news shouldn’t have come as a surprise: Walters, 83, recently suffered a health setback when she contracted chicken pox after collapsing at the home of the British ambassador. She was hospitalized and off the air for weeks. “It was just amazing to me that I had the chicken pox at my age,” she observes, adding, “I’m fine.”
Meanwhile, The View continues to dominate daytime as the No. 1 broadcast talker this season, edging out CBS’ The Talk in total viewers as well as the syndicated programs Dr. Oz, Maury and Rachael Ray. The TV icon clearly relishes the influence her “hot topics”-fueled show has in daytime: “I am proud of the fact that The View is going into its 17th year and is being copied,” she says, likely referencing The Talk.
However, changes are afoot: In March, original View panelist Joy Behar announced she will depart this summer at the end of her contract. And sources tell THR that Elisabeth Hasselbeck plans to follow Behar. “I truly like these women," says Walters. "I helped to choose them, [executive producer] Bill Geddie and I.”
What does Walters make of gossip reports that Ali Wentworth, Brooke Shields and Christie Brinkley are in the running as replacements? “We haven’t really begun to look yet,” she says, lips sealed.
Walters will mark the 20th anniversary of her 10 Most Fascinating People special later this year.
MOST DESIRED "GET": “With a new baby coming in the British royal family, we wish we could interview Kate and William.”