Sources have told The New York Post that Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s days at “The View” are numbered, despite Barbara Walters saying otherwise.
It was recently reported that Hasselbeck is getting ousted from the show because her conservative views clashed with the audience. Speaking on air, Walters later insisted that there were “no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show.” The rumors came on the heels of Joy Behar’s announcement that she will leave the show when her contract is up in August.
The New York Post reported on Saturday, however, that “The View” does plan to get rid of Hasselbeck. Sources told the newspaper that ABC wanted to “freshen” the show in the face of flagging ratings.
“Dumping Joy Behar, who was there 16 years, and Hasselbeck would be the fastest way to do it, they decided,” a source said. “After giving Behar the bad news last week and letting her bow out gracefully, someone leaked the Hasselbeck thing. Some enemies she has on the show saw their chance to get back at her. Barbara was spitting mad that it got mishandled, and called off the firing over [last] weekend.”
Walters recently called the story about Hasselbeck "particularly false," and said that Behar's departure will be "bittersweet." Behar told viewers that "it seemed like the right time" to exit, and that she will leave to pursue other things on her plate.
The Hollywood Reporter reported on an audience study commissioned by "The View." Hasselbeck and Behar were reportedly deemed too "polarizing," and many viewers did not like the show's political debates.
Possible replacements for Behar, according to the Post's sources, are Ali Wentworth, Christie Brinkley and Brooke Shields. Wentworth is reportedly the favorite because she is a comedian and the wife of George Stephanopoulos, another ABC News star. A source added that the show "won't rush" to find a new co-host, but will test out a number of guest hosts.
When asked about the rumors, a spokesperson for "The View" referred back to Walters' comments, saying, "This was all addressed on Monday’s show. [Walters] is not the least bit angry. She loves these women and wants what’s best for them. Everything else is speculation. Producers haven’t begun to search for a new co-host. We have no further comment."