"The View" played a tribute footage to Barbara Walters on Monday, May 13 before she gracefully addressed her retirement plan. "I have been on television continuously for over 50 years," she started her announcement. "But in the summer of 2014, a year from now, I plan to retire from appearing on television at all. It has been an absolutely joyful, rewarding, challenging, fascinating, and occasionally bumpy ride and I wouldn't change a thing."
Assuring that she's "perfectly healthy," she added, "This is my decision. I've been thinking about it for a long time and this is what I want to do." She said that she would remain executive producing "The View", but she didn't "want to appear on another program. I don't want to climb another mountain. I want instead to sit in a sunny field and admire the very gifted women, and okay, some men too, who will be taking my place."
Jokingly saying that she's "not walking into the sunset," Walters didn't rule out the possibility of her making occasional appearance for special events on "The View". She thanked her colleagues and added, "I hope I may also have inspired other woman to make television, in front or behind the cameras, as a career."
Walters, who has been a longtime journalist on ABC News, will leave TV journalism in summer 2014. Before that, she will continue appearing on "The View", reporting for ABC News and serving as anchors for ABC's specials throughout the year, including a "20 Years of 10 Most Fascinating People" special in December, an Oscars special, and a May career retrospective.