12:41pm PT by Michael O'Connell
ABC News Shoots Down Barbara Walters Retirement Reports
The morning after Barbara Walters unveiled her "10 Most Fascinating People" for 2011, a story began circulating that the veteran ABC News reporter plans to retire in 2012.
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TMZ reported that, while taping an upcoming segment with President Barack Obama, Walters was overheard expressing an interest in interviewing him once more before she retires "next year."
Walters, who continues to run primetime specials with ABC News in addition to her weekly duties as a panelist on The View, has been speculated to be on the brink of retirement for years -- something an ABC acknowledged while dismissing the story.
“Barbara has joked that she is retiring every year since the Clinton Administration," said ABC News EVP Jeff Schneider in a statement. "Anyone who just did a day trip to Syria and a 90 minute primetime special and interview with the President and First Lady hardly sounds like someone retiring from anything."
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Whether or not she has an exit strategy for her career, she has cut back on her duties. 2010 marked the last installment of her Oscar special and she usually appears on The View just three days a week.