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Walters announced the news on Monday’s edition of the ABC daytime show, commenting into the camera: “There is a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s alleged departure, saying that we don’t approve of her conservative views. The truth is we love Elisabeth. I like her personally and she’s just a wonderful person. But beyond that, we value and appreciate her point of view because Elisabeth helps give the show perspective and balance. … So we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show.”
She added: “Having said that to all of you, [producer] Bill [Geddie] and I have always said that when one of you makes the choice to leave,” it’s that person’s choice.
Meanwhile, Hasselbeck was mum while Walters addressed reports that Hasselbeck was going to follow Joy Behar out the door.
A source with knowledge of the situation told The Hollywood Reporter on Friday that Hasselbeck won’t return this fall for the show’s 17th season; original panelist Behar will leave this summer at the end of her contract.
“It was very bittersweet,” Walters said of Behar’s impending departure. “I want what’s best for you. I want what’s best for all of you.”
(In typical joke-y fashion, Behar read a Top 10 list of reasons she’s leaving the program. Reason No. 10: “ABC won’t let me drink on the air like Hoda and Kathie Lee.”)
Joining The View in 2003 after a stint on Survivor, Hasselbeck has been one of its most polarizing personalities. The panel’s only open conservative, she has butted heads with many on-air — most notably Rosie O’Donnell during her two-year tenure as moderator.
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