How Barbara Walters, Adweek’s TV News Legend, Changed the Industry ‘Forever’

3 ABC News presidents reflect on her remarkable legacy

Barbara Walters reinvented TV news during her five decades in the business. In 1974, she became the first female co-host of an American news program on Today (though she had already been doing the job unofficially for a decade); and two years later, ABC Evening News named her the first female co-anchor of a network evening news broadcast. Walters also co-hosted 20/20 for 25 years and created The View in 1997, but she is best known for her blockbuster interviews with world leaders, entertainment icons and global newsmakers. Her 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky drew a whopping 74 million viewers. ABC News’ three most recent presidents reflected on the TV news legend (who retired in 2014) and her extraordinary legacy.

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This story first appeared in the Jan. 14, 2019, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.