It is the end of an era for two of America’s most influential public figures. Barbara Walters and David Letterman have both announced their retirement plan.
From her noteworthy interviews with numerous world leaders, like Barack Obama, to pop icon, Michael Jackson, and fashion’s favorite Vogue editor, Anna Wintour. The queen of journalism is calling it quits as co-host and co-creator of “The View!” ABC announced this past Monday, Walters last day co-hosting “The View” will be May 16.
The successful talk show will continue on after her departure with its other co-hosts. She co-created the morning talk show with Bill Geddie in August 1997. No need to worry, the 84-year-old will not be hanging up her working pants just yet. Even though she will not be co-hosting the popular talk show, after the news of her retirement was released, Walter’s said, “I will still continue as my role of executive producer of The View so I can keep my eye on all of you.” She will also contribute to ABC on occasion. Monday’s episode was filled with kind words exchanged between all of the co-hosts about Walters and their time together.
As one of the world’s most prestigious journalists, Walter’s will be getting quite the extravagant goodbye. E! News confirmed, “To further honor Walter’s legacy, ABC News’ Headquarters New York City will be named in her honor during a dedication ceremony that will take place this spring; the specific date will be announced. Prior to her on -camera departure from The View, the show will toast Walters’ career with a week-long celebration.”
Delivering journalism royalty for over 50 years, Walters’ national broadcast career began in 1961 as a reporter, writer and panel member on NBC’s “Today.” Robert A. Iger, executive chief of The Walt Disney Company only told E! his true thoughts of the retiring co-host. Iger stated, “In this business there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters. She’s a dear friend and colleague, as well as someone I deeply admire, and it’s impossible to fully convey her impact and influence on television. She broke barriers, defied convention, made history and set the standard for journalistic excellence for more than 50 years. It’s hard to imagine television without her.”
Originally announcing her retirement plans in May 2013, the talented blonde had humble words of encouragement for up and coming replacements. E! quoted the co-host saying, “I do not want to appear on another program to climb another mountain. I want to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women- and OK, some men, too- who will be taking my place.” The real question is, who will be replacing the history making, power journalist?
Making his hosting debut on NBC, February 1982 with “Late Night with David Letterman”, after much speculation David Letterman revealed, during a taping of the Late Show, Apr. 3, he will air his final show in 2015. After the announcement the history-making host received a standing ovation. Watch David Letterman announce his retirement!
Kristin Dos Santos, E!’s television guru, revealed with 31 years of hosting experience, Letterman is the longest-running late-night talk show in TV history. President and CEO of CBS, Les Moonves, released a lengthy, complimenting statement after the announcement. “There is only one David Letterman. His greatness will always be remembered here, and he will certainly sit among the pantheon of this business,” were just some of the kind words spoken by Moonves.
Debuting in 1993, “Late Night with David Letterman” has earned nine Emmy’s and 73 Emmy nominations. Dos Santos reported, “Letterman, who will celebrate his 67th birthday next week, has also surpassed legendary late night host Johnny Carson as the oldest host on late night.”
Ellen Degeneres and Jimmy Kimmel took to Twitter along with many late-night fans to tweet their well wishes to the retiring host.
So what does this mean for the fans of late-night TV? Letterman will be hard to replace but there are a few names being thrown around Hollywood. When E! asked Letterman’s longtime friend, Howard Stern if he would take over the coveted spot he said, “I’m busy with radio…and no one has asked me. And I’ve been offered talk shows in the past but who knows.” Letterman’s former frenemy, Jay Leno who recently retired from “The Tonight Show,” was also asked if he would fill in for the retiree. Leno stated, “There’s nothing to fill in.” Take a look at who may be filling the talk show host’s shoes.
Rumors are spreading through Hollywood about predicted replacements for both Letterman and Walters. They will be hard shoes to fill, but the show must go on. A lot of chat about “the younger generation” taking over, like Jimmy Fallon replacing Jay Leno, is a rumor being thrown around. We will have to wait and see who the next history-makers will be.