Barbara Walters sensed the moment had arrived.
During the 16th season of “The View,” the iconic journalist subtly requested ABC executive Anne Sweeney to jot down the year 2014 on a piece of paper during a lunch meeting.
This occurred in March 2013, shortly after Walters had returned to the talk show following a series of health challenges, including a fall and a battle with chickenpox.
Just a few months later, Walters inquired with Sweeney about the paper and shared with the executive that 2014 marked the year she intended to conclude her illustrious broadcasting career that had solidified her status as a household name.
“She selected the date,” Sweeney reminisced in a conversation with journalist Ramin Setoodeh as documented in his 2019 book, “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View.’”
Initially, the network harbored concerns about losing the pioneering newswoman who had been instrumental in the creation and co-hosting of “The View,” a series that had been both highly successful and controversial since its inception in 1997.
However, as the year progressed, Walters’ health declined further, and it became evident that the 84-year-old was no longer able to sustain her work.
“Eventually, after a show concluded one day, she fell into the arms of a stage manager,” Setoodeh recounted.
She had to be escorted to the greenroom, where they positioned her on a sofa. The staff then contacted the paramedics.
Walters expressed worry that being seen on a stretcher might become news, as mentioned in the book. However, she eventually consented to see a doctor and returned to the set the following morning.
When Barbara Walters passed away, the co-hosts on ‘The View’ shared their reactions.
“Barbara maintained a demeanor of normalcy,” Setoodeh observed.
As Walters’ retirement approached, there was a significant amount of celebration and formality.