On the program she invented, on the network where she worked for the past 37 years, on the medium where she broke barriers and rules for more than 50 years, Barbara Walters will announce this morning, definitively and with no regrets, that she is calling it a career.
"It's time," Walters said, previewing the announcement she will make to the national television audience watching her daily program, The View.
"I keep thinking of the line from Cabaret," Walters said. " 'When I go, I'm going like Chelsea.' When I go there is not going to be any, 'Please can I have another appearance?' I don't want to do any more interviews. I don't want to do any other programs. I'm not joining CNN. This is it."
Like Johnny Carson, another television standout who took charge of his exit from the national stage, Ms. Walters is picking her television end date exactly one year in advance: Over the next year she will participate in a series of retrospectives on ABC prime-time news programs and her home on The View, seeking, she said, "to say goodbye in the best way."
Expectations that Walters, the nation's first female anchorwoman, would make a formal retirement announcement surfaced in March. She returned from a vacation at that time to say on the air that she had no announcements to make.
But in an interview last week in her apartment overlooking Central Park, Walters, 83, confirmed that she had been pondering this decision for several years. Walters said she will retain the title of co-executive producer on The View and may consult on issues like who replaces Joy Behar or one of the other hosts.