As Barbara Walters gears up for her retirement next year, television critics are beginning to weigh in on the legacy she leaves behind in television. The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley calls Walters “television personified”:
Intuitively, knowingly or just luckily, Ms. Walters has moved — and is moving — in concert with tastes and audiences and real influence. She defected from nighttime to daytime just as many viewers were doing the same … And now, as more and more viewers leave broadcast television altogether, so does she.
Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams praises Walters for being first in “nearly everything about women in television news”:
And if television news is still frequently a hollow, sexist echo chamber, don’t blame Barbara. She showed everything that’s possible for a woman of brains and ambition in an industry that has little use for women with either.