Barbara Walters has indicated her final appearance on “The View” will be May 16, which ABC is decreeing her “goodbye to daily television.” Walters has been on our screens for fifty years. Fifty. Years. She started as a writer for “The Today Show” in 1961 before moving onscreen. If your only memory of her is the goofy impersonation that popped up on “Saturday Night Live,” you’re missing out on a career that had her interviewing everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Laurence Olivier to Richard Nixon to Lady Gaga. A pioneer for women journalists, she was the first woman to co-host a daily morning show and then the first woman to co-anchor a network evening newscast.
Of course, she’s not totally disappearing. She’ll be making “special appearances” on ABC when the situation warrants and she’ll still be involved in executive producing “The View.” The show has often made its own news, from the controversial decision to hire anti-vaccine campaigner Jenny McCarthy, to the now-legendary grilling the ladies gave John McCain when he appeared on the show during the 2008 election, when he was no doubt expecting a softball interview.
While some of her interview tactics may have caused some comment, there’s no doubt that she’s leaving behind a legacy to be proud of, and that she’s indelibly changed the television landscape. And the actual landscape: ABC News Headquarters will be renamed for her.