Barbara Walters confirmed late Sunday night that she will retire next year.
ABC News said that the legendary journalist and co-host of "The View" will step down "next summer." She will formally announce her decision on Monday's "View." In the intervening year, ABC said she would continue to host that show, as well as her usual number of specials.
In a statement, Walters, who is 83, said she was pleased with the move.
"I am very happy with my decision and look forward to a wonderful and special year ahead both on 'The View' and with ABC News," she said. "I created 'The View' and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it."Walters also sent out a tweet about the news:
Big news - and I want to tell you first: abcn.ws/19gEaKv. (Looking forward to one more great year!)
— Barbara Walters (@BarbaraJWalters) May 13, 2013
In an interview with the New York Times, she was even more straightforward.
"It's time," she said.
Walters' announcement serves as a confirmation of widespread reports in late March that she would be leaving the television stage after over 50 years. Her retirement will bring an end to one of the most storied careers in broadcast journalism. Walters broke ground repeatedly--becoming both the first female host of "Today" as well as the first female host of an evening news program--and landed a nearly unparalleled string of blockbuster interviews through the decades.
Over the past few years, "The View" has become Walters' primary television home. After she leaves, the show will be without any of its original hosts; Joy Behar is stepping down from her position this August. There have also been persistent rumors that Elisabeth Hasselbeck will depart, though Walters and Hasselbeck have flatly denied them.
Walters was recently off the air for six weeks after a concussion and a contraction of the chicken pox beset her at roughly the same time. She told the Times, however, that her health was not a factor in her decision. Rather, she said, she wanted to be able to relax and enjoy herself more. She told ABC News the same thing.
"I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain," she said. "I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women—and OK, some men too—who will be taking my place."