May 15th, 2014
12:45 PM ET

Barbara Walters: 'You Have to Leave Sometime, Don't You?'

Barbara Walters has been bringing crucial interviews and history-changing events to audiences for five decades, but now she says she's ready to retire.

The list of her accolades is impressive and includes multiple Emmys, a Peabody, a Lifetime Achievement Award for Daytime Television, and even a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But earlier this week, Walters announced on "The View" that she will step back from TV journalism in the summer of 2014.

Walters had already announced in early April that her final co-hosting position on that show would be tomorrow.

CNN's Chris Cuomo spoke with the broadcast legend about her decision, her legacy, and the advice she'd give to other journalists.

Walters said she's proud to have been a trailblazer for women in the business but now is the time to go.

For those making their way in the industry, she said they better be prepared to put in the work.

ON RETIREMENT:  

Cuomo: Are you afraid you're doing this too soon?

Walters: I knew it was time. I like all the celebration, that's great.  But in my heart,  I thought, 'I want to walk away while I'm still doing good work.'  You have to leave sometime, don't you? I want to leave while people like you are saying, 'Why are you going?' I just know it's the time to go.

Barbara Walters talks about her retirement with CNN's Chris Cuomo on the set of "The View."

Barbara Walters talks about her retirement with CNN's Chris Cuomo on the set of "The View."

ON HER LEGACY: 

Cuomo: Here's a word I know you don't like: Legacy

Walters:  I don't like to talk about my legacy in terms of my work.  I know that I've done some important interviews, I know that I have been a part of history, at least viewing history. But my legacy, I think, is paving the way a little bit for women who did not have the opportunity when I was beginning. I see so many wonderful women now on television, and that's my legacy. Maybe I helped pave the way for them.

...

I just think I've had the most blessed career and I never expected it. I hope I have the sense to realize how good my life is, and not just think of how good my life was.

Jim Hartz and Walters reported for NBC News during the 1976 New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

Jim Hartz and Walters reported for NBC News during the 1976 New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

ADVICE FOR OTHER JOURNALISTS: 

Cuomo: What is your advice to the rest of us who are still in the grind?

Walters: Get your foot in the door. Be the first one there in the morning and the last one there at night. And do your homework.

After a journalism career spanning a half-century, Barbara Walters will retire from TV journalism on May 16. We look back on the career of Walters, shown here at the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner in Washington on May 3.

After a journalism career spanning a half-century, Barbara Walters will retire from TV journalism on May 16. Here she is at the White House Correspondents' Association annual dinner in Washington on May 3.

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Do you think Barbara Walters will stay out of the spotlight after she retires?

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See full photo gallery of Walters' career over the years

READ: Barbara Walters Fast Facts

 

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Paul

    She's proof that intelligent, independent women who are focused on their careers can be successful., and have always been successful.

    Women who aren't willing to spend the time and energy on their career– shouldn't expect more than that. Its not discrimination if you aren't successful.... its mostly you. Not every woman wants a high profile, time-consuming career either.

    May 16, 2014 at 11:29 am | Reply

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