It was a celebratory atmosphere tonight at ABC News Headquarters when the network’s Upper West Side New York City building was officially renamed the “Barbara Walters Building.”
“It’s not the interviews with presidents, nor heads of state, nor celebrities, nor even the Sterlings,” Walters said about her career legacy. “I hope that I played a small role in paving the way for so many of you fabulous women who are here tonight,” she continued, adding how pleased she is when women approach her about their achievements. “That’s my legacy” she said to a rousing applause.
Standing beside many ABC News colleagues, including Diane Sawyer, Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos, and Lara Spencer; along with Walt Disney Company Chairman Bob Iger, Disney/ABC TV President Ben Sherwood, and ABC News President James Goldston, Walters joked about having a building named after her in a city where Kennedy Airport and the Lincoln Tunnel reside: “It may not be a landmark, but a couple of pigeons have already staked it out.”
“It makes me feel wonderful,” Walters told TVNewser after the ceremony in response to taglines that say, “she didn’t just report history, she made history.”
“The fact that my career turned out this way, it’s still an amazement to me,” she told us, highlighting her start as a writer at NBC’s “Today” which wasn’t clamoring to “put me on [air].” When she started out in the business, there “were almost none [women in TV news],” Walters told us.
Barbara Walters would go on to become the first woman co-anchor of network morning and evening newscasts. “The best part of it is the people I work with, especially seeing all of the women,” she added. That includes the ladies of “The View,” which she created and has co-hosted for 17 years. Her final day co-hosting is Friday. But you will see her again. Walters will keep an office in the Barbara Walters Building, and will appear on ABC when news warrants.