8:54pm PT by Hilary Lewis
Barbara Walters Reveals What She'll Miss About 'The View'; Katie Couric Predicts Return
On Friday Barbara Walters will make her last appearance as co-host of The View, officially retiring from daily television after a five-decade career in TV news.
Walters was celebrated at a party at New York City's Four Seasons restaurant, attended by some of the biggest names in TV news, from ABC and rival networks, as well as a slew of Disney and ABC executives and some of the network's primetime stars.
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When asked what she'll miss most about The View, Walters told The Hollywood Reporter, "It's a good place to have opinions and to give your opinion; I will miss the women."
The journalist, who will still serve as The View's executive producer and contribute to ABC News on an as-needed basis, insisted that she was definitely leaving her co-hosting gig and said that while she might do an interview from time to time, "I won't have the kind of schedule I have now."
But some of Walters' colleagues doubt the tenacious anchor will stay away for long.
"I think she's leaving the profession probably pretty reluctantly because I think she's going to miss it, but I think she also knows that she's done it all and she deserves a little time for herself," said Katie Couric. "But I think we haven't seen the last of Barbara Walters. I'm sure she'll be back and continuing to do great work."
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ABC News' Deborah Roberts was even more certain that Walters would return.
"I have a feeling that we'll see Barbara in another week or two," she said. "Barbara's the kind of person who's working that phone while she's on vacation, trying to land that next interview … I have a feeling this will just be too hard to resist, all of these stories and these folks out there just waiting to be interviewed. It may not be the next week, it may not be the week after, but we'll see Barbara very soon."
Roberts also revealed what she's learned from working with and watching Walters. She said that her first on-set experience with the news veteran was terrifying but she ultimately learned to trust herself.
"The first time I sat down on the set with her, like shaking, and I had my notes with me to talk about the story and she took my notes and threw them away and said, 'You don't need those, just talk to me.' And I was, like, terrified, and she totally taught me to just like chill out and be yourself, be curious, do the work, you know the work, trust yourself and you'll do a great job," she said.
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NBC's Savannah Guthrie said that she views Walters with a mix of reverence and competitiveness.
"Barbara is a fierce competitor right down to the last week, where she's scoring two big exclusives right on her way out the door," Guthrie said. "Barbara is incredibly formidable, but that's why we admire her because she's a very tough cookie and has been for all of these years … She just exemplifies what journalists should be, which is hard-working, passionate and incredibly interested and curious about the news."
George Stephanopoulos also told THR about the time he was reminded of what a serious interviewer Walters is, and she put him in his place.
The Good Morning America anchor explained that in the middle of the Latrell Sprewell controversy, "I said something on This Week about how, 'You know what's going to happen? Latrell Sprewell is going to do some apology, go on Barbara Walters, maybe cry a little bit.' She called me up the second we went off the air and said, 'What are you talking about? I would do a serious interview. We would show the world what happened here.' Which was exactly right, and I never made that mistake again."
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Joy Behar also told THR what she expects to happen during Thursday's highly anticipated reunion of all of The View's past and present co-hosts, including famous foes Rosie O'Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
"I'm expecting World War III," Behar joked. "No, I'm expecting that people will be somewhat happy to see each other. I mean, it's been a rocky road sometimes. Not always smooth sailing when you're working with the same people for many years. But I think it will be fun."
But Behar, who left The View last year, says the show is different than what it was when she was on, and she expects it will change again when Walters leaves.
Could this change include the addition of the show's first male co-host?
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Three-time guest host Thomas Roberts said he would be all for that and might even be willing to fill that role himself.
"I think [The View adding a male co-host] would be fantastic," the MSNBC anchor said. "As a guy being on the panel, I know I have had a great time being there, and yeah, I think it helps balance out some of the viewpoints. I think also, at least in my experience being there, I can definitely get a laugh out of the women and cool things down when they get a little too hot, so I think a guy will be great. I'll volunteer."
Other guests on hand for Walters' celebration included Bob Iger, Anne Sweeney, Ben Sherwood, Joan Rivers, Nashville's Charles Esten, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD's Clark Gregg, Scandal's Bellamy Young and Tony Goldwyn, Star Jones, Meredith Vieira, Al Roker, Rudy Giuliani, Michael Bloomberg, Lisa Ling, Robin Roberts, Amy Robach, Alexandra Wentworth, Jenny McCarthy, Whoopi Goldberg, Anderson Cooper, Diane Sawyer and David Muir.