Reports: Barbara Walters set to retire

Story highlights

  • ABC says "no comment" to reports Barbara Walters will retire in May 2014
  • New York Times and on Deadline.com cite unnamed network executives
  • Walters began her national broadcast career on NBC's "Today Show" in 1961
  • She's interviewed every U.S. president and first lady since Richard and Pat Nixon

Longtime ABC News personality Barbara Walters will retire from broadcasting next year after a half-century trailblazing career, according to several media reports Thursday.

ABC, where Walters has worked as a news anchor and talk show host since 1976, answered with "no comment" when CNN called about the reports quoting unnamed network sources in the New York Times and on Deadline.com.

Viewers see Walters, 83, mostly these days as co-host of ABC's daytime talker "The View," which she helped create in 1997.

The plan is for her retirement to be announced in May, giving a year for ABC to pay tribute to her before she stops working in May 2014, Deadline.com reported.

Walters went through a health scare in January when she suffered a cut on her forehead after falling on a stair while visiting the British ambassador's residence in Washington.

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She underwent surgery to repair a heart valve three years ago.

Walters' national broadcast career began in 1961 as a reporter, writer and panel member on NBC's "Today Show." She was promoted to co-host in 1974, but she was hired away by ABC in 1976.

    At ABC, she began "The Barbara Walters Specials" and "10 Most Fascinating People," which has become a regular year-end program.

    Walters has interviewed every U.S. president and first lady since Richard and Pat Nixon.

    She spent two decades, starting in 1984 as co-host and correspondent for ABC's news magazine show "20/20." She still reports on occasion.

    Walters, who was born in Boston in 1929, is the daughter of a theater producer.