Happy retirement, Barbara Walters

I couldn’t let this day go by without a mention of Barbara Walters’ retirement after fifty years in the news, views, and television specials business. I don’t normally watch daytime television but I had to today, just to see her final appearance on The View, a show she created seventeen years ago.

Barbara Walters was a huge role model for women in journalism, and on this day’s episode of The View, “Oprah Winfrey brought nearly every newswomen on the planet,” said TNZ, to thank her for it.  She looked around at the dozens of young women standing around her and said, “This is my legacy.” And what a great legacy that is.

AP PHOTO/ABC, IDA MAE ASTUTE

AP PHOTO/ABC, IDA MAE ASTUTE

Unfortunately my desire to work as a journalist and my training in journalism came a decade too soon. Even so, I thank her for what she has accomplished. The news business has not been the same since Barbara Walters became the first woman co-news anchor of the nightly news in 1976. Though her co-anchor at that time (Harry Reasoner) did not respect her or want a co-anchor, her role inspired other women to take on the formerly men-only jobs in the news business. She shattered that glass ceiling for all time.

BARBARA WALTERSBarbara Walters in her inimitable way said at the end of the show this morning:

“Thank you, thank you … But who knows what the future brings? Instead of ‘Goodbye,’ say, ‘I’ll be in touch….See you later.” I hope there will be more Barbara Walters on television in the very near future.

You can be sure I’ll be in front of my television tonight watching a two-hour tribute to her career: Barbara Walters: Her Story, on ABC. Please join me.

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