Barbara Walters to Retire May 16

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By Merrill Knox Comment

barbara waltersBarbara Walters’ final day co-hosting “The View” will be May 16, ABC News announced this morning. Walters, who announced her retirement last year, will also be celebrated that night with a two-hour primetime special highlighting her life and career.

In a statement, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger said it is “hard to imagine television without her.”

“In this business there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters,” Iger said. “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.”

Walters will continue to executive produce the view and will contribute to ABC News as news warrants. She will talk about her final broadcast on “The View” this morning.

>Update: Video of Walters’ announcement on “The View” is after the jump.