Barbara Walters will make her final regular appearance on the ABC show "The View" next month and will also receive a special honor that will be seen by millions of people on a daily basis.
The 84-year-old veteran newswoman and TV personality had said last year that in 2014, she plans to retire from television after more than 50 years. She created the daytime talk panel show "The View" in 1997 and serves as a co-host and executive producer. On Monday's episode, she announced that she will make her last appearance on the show on May 16. She added that she will not yet not end her television career -- she will retain her producing job and also continue to be an ABC News contributor.
"Many of you have put up with me since your childhood and you're not free of me yet because I am not leaving television entirely," she joked.
"I just want to say something to all of you -- I don't want to get too weepy, 'cause it's a happy day for me," she told co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sherri Shepherd, newcomer Jenny McCarthy and guest and attorney Mark Eiglarsh. "I'm happy you're here. I love being under the two of you. And I cannot tell you how much emotion and love I have for Whoopi, and admiration."
Goldberg announced that the ABC News headquarters in New York City will be renamed the Barbara Walters Building in her honor and that a week-long celebration for her on "The View" and the network's show "Good Morning America" in the day leading up to her final episode.
After her announcement, Walters received a standing ovation from her co-hosts and the studio audience of "The View."
Barbara Walters: "I feel sad"
Walters had announced her future retirement following a 2010 heart operation and a 2013 head injury. That year, she also battled chickenpox. Walters said last May that she feels "perfectly healthy" and that she had been thinking about retiring for a long time.
On Monday's episode of "The View," she said that she feels "sad" about leaving, but that it "feels right" for her.
"I love this show, I love what we've done," she said. "It will continue without me and when I say, 'I feel sad,' I love these moments but I also know that it's time and I don't want people to say, 'Is she still here?' I want them to say, 'Hey, you know, wasn't it fun?'"
McCarthy said she was "blessed and honored" to have been chosen to join "The View." She replaced Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who has since joined Fox News.
"And now I'm gonna cry," McCarthy told Walters. "I just want to say thank you, for all these years and this opportunity too, 'cause I can't image being on 'The View' without having to sit across from you."
Also on May 16, the date of Barbara Walters' final appearance on "The View," ABC will also air a two-hour special highlighting her life and career at 9 p.m. ET.