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Veteran ABC News personality Barbara Walters is poised to retire in May 2014, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
Walters, 83, is expected to make the announcement herself. She will stay on at The View through next season, according to sources, to usher the show through an impending transition that will mark the exits of hosts Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Walters’ final year as a regular presence on ABC News and The View will be filled with tributes to more than half a century in broadcasting.
News of her retirement is not unexpected. She suffered a health setback this year when she contracted chicken pox, which caused her to become faint and fall and cut her head at the home of the British ambassador in January. The episode sent her to the hospital and kept her off The View for several weeks.
And Walters herself has flirted with retirement publicly. A seemingly off-the-cuff remark during a 2011 interview with President Barack Obama that she planned to retire “next year” sent media speculation into overdrive. At the time, an ABC News spokesperson brushed off the news flash, saying, “Barbara has joked that she is retiring every year since the Clinton administration.”
ABC News declined comment.
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