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Posts Tagged ‘Barbara Walters’

Your Favorite Barbara Walters Interview Is…

walters304x200Barbara Walters retires from ABC News today and co-hosts her final episode of “The View.” TVNewser was there for the big send-off, which was taped yesterday, and featured 25 TV news’ highest-profile women. Walters will remain co-executive producer of the show.

Of course, Walters’ retirement comes with coverage of her decades of high-profile interviews with presidents, heads of state, celebrities, and everyday Americans who were thrust into the national spotlight.

We asked you earlier in the week what your favorite Barbara Walters interview was. 37% of you chose her 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky, which drew a record 74 million viewers. Walters shed light on the former White House intern’s chances of possibly co-hosting “The View.”

There was a tie for second, as 18% of you chose both Walters’ historic 1977 joint interview with Israeli President Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, and her 1981 interview with actress Katharine Hepburn. In the latter, Walters famously asked Hepburn if she was a tree, what kind would she be. And 34 years later, Walters can joke about it.

Rounding out the poll was was Walters’ sit-down with Cuban President Fidel Castro (14%). We also asked you to write in your votes: Pres. Ronald Reagan and comedian Richard Pryor each got 10%.

Two Dozen Women of TV News, Barbara Walters’ Legacy, Join Her on Her Final ‘View’

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For weeks we’ve been writing about the legacy of Barbara Walters. This afternoon, that legacy came to life in the finale of her final “The View,” taped at ABC’s West Side studios, and airing tomorrow.

TVNewser was there as more than two dozen women TV news anchors packed the stage, each introduced by Oprah Winfrey, among the guests on Walters’ final show. One by one, they greeted a stunned Walters, beginning with Diane Sawyer and continuing with Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer, Elizabeth Vargas, Amy Robach, Deborah Roberts, Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira; also, Jane Pauley, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Cynthia McFadden, Gayle King, Maria Shriver, Juju Chang, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford, Lisa Ling, Tamron Hall, Gretchen Carlson, Connie Chung, Paula Zahn, Deborah Norville, and Joan Lunden.

“I have to remember this on the bad days, because this is the best,” said Walters in the commercial break. “They just kept coming, and coming,” joked Sherri Shepherd. During the first part of the show, to keep it secret, the women hid out in Dr. Oz’s studio across the hall.

The show began with Hillary Clinton as the first guest. She encouraged Walters to take some time off — at least a week. Later, Walters said that’s part of her plan — a trip to Berlin is in the works, someplace she’s never been. Among the VIPs in the crowd, New York Knicks forward J.R. Smith. During another commercial break Walters’ joked to Smith that her retirement plans  include “buying the Clippers!” There are other highlights including a hilarious sketch (if you’re a Cheri Oteri fan, and we are) of Barbara interviewing Barbara.

“You’ll never see this again, folks,” Whoppi Goldberg said as the show wound down. “Only for Barbara.”

(Photos: Chris Ariens)

Was Monica Lewinsky Close to Becoming a Co-Host on ‘The View’?

Barbara Walters continued her busy week last night as a guest on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” but got uncharacteristically tongue-tied on one topic.

“Umm…I won’t tell you what we have done, but, it would have been possible,” Walters said about possibly having Monica Lewinsky as a co-host on the ABC talk show, adding ultimately, she doesn’t think it’s what Lewinsky wanted.

When Letterman pressed the issue, Walters laughingly responded, “I can’t talk,” while seeming to hold back information about previous conversations between the show and Lewinsky.

Walters concluded she thinks it would be great for Lewinsky to be on “The View,” but cautioned Letterman not to expect it. Walters’ 1999 interview with the former White House intern, whose relationship with President Clinton sparked a national firestorm, drew a record 74 million viewers.

Barbara Walters Farewell: ‘True, I Was the First Female Co-Host… But Also True, I Was a Flop’

WaltersSawyerIt was a star-studded farewell for Barbara Walters at New York City’s Four Seasons restaurant tonight. From comedian Joan Rivers to commissioner Bill Bratton; from New York’s chronicler of scandal, Cindy Adams, to the man who plays the president on “Scandal,” Tony Goldwyn; from actor Woody Allen to attorney David Boies, But mostly, the pool room was packed with Walters’ fellow TV news colleagues and those ladies — past and present — from “The View.” Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd; Meredith Vieira and Joy Behar.

Following a best of Barbara video, Disney Chairman Bob Iger welcomed the crowd, before Walters delivered a few words of thanks and admitting it hasn’t always been easy. “True, I was the first female co-host of a network news program. But also true, I was a flop. My male co-host didn’t want a partner and neither did the audience. I was drowning, gasping for air. Then someone threw me that life preserver called Specials with the biggest stars in news and show business and I learned how to swim again.”

Current and former evening news anchors were there, including Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams who arrived with Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and fiancé John Molner; and Connie Chung (who was part of an ill-fated co-anchor pairing with Dan Rather) and husband Maury Povich. We caught up with early risers Savannah Guthrie and George Stephanopoulos along with their spouses, Mike Feldman, and Ali Wentworth, respectively, as they were heading out. Guthrie’s “Today” colleague Al Roker and his wife, ABC correspondent Deborah Roberts made the rounds as well.

Walters continued: “I’m grateful to the legendary Roone Arledge for bringing me to ABC News; thankful to David Westin for his steady leadership; to Ben Sherwood – you made us all believe we could win and with your leadership and passion, we did; and James Goldston – I’m told that all our shows are number one at the moment – you should quit right now.” Sherwood, Goldston and Westin were all on hand, as were other ABC News executives including Barbara Fedida, David Sloan, Jeanmarie Condon and John Green.

We spotted Jenny McCarthy hand-in-hand with fiance Donnie Wahlberg; the “Nightline” team of Juju ChangDan Abrams, and Dan Harris as well as a host of correspondents and anchors from ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and Fox, including Elizabeth VargasAmy RobachDavid MuirNorah O’DonnellJon KarlGio Benitez, Dr. Richard Besser, Tory JohnsonRick Klein, Brian Ross, Mara Schiavocampo, Thomas RobertsAlicia MenendezHoda Kotb, Greta Van Susteren and Lisa Ling, a former “View” co-host, now woking on a new show for CNN.

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Jay Carney Doesn’t Think Barbara Walters is Really Retiring

Today at the White House press briefing, Jay Carney said he doesn’t think Barbara Walters is really retiring. In fact, he expects a request for an interview “within weeks.” Walters has interviewed every president and first lady since Richard Nixon. Carney passed along the best wishes of Pres. Obama and the First Lady:

Barbara Walters on Hard Work, Luck, and Being Thought of as an Iconic Woman

Barbara WaltersBarbara Walters‘ career as a trailblazer in TV news–and for women journalists–is being celebrated this week ahead of her retirement from ABC News. But Walters doesn’t think about preeminence. In fact, she says a lot of her success is based on luck.

“You don’t think, ‘I’m preeminent‘… I’m lucky I’m still working. I’m lucky that I enjoy my work,” Walters tells TVNewser. “The best part is the people I work with, especially seeing all of the women.”

Walters, who will be celebrated tonight at an event at the Four Seasons, gave one of those women a special shout-out during the dedication of the Barbara Walters Building on Monday. “I’m so proud of you,” she told “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer, the only woman anchor of an evening newscast. (Walters was the first woman co-anchor the evening news in the 1970s). “I’m one of those smiling women who come up to you,” Sawyer responded.

Walters’ 50-year career included hundreds of long days, decades of global travel, and instances where she dropped everything to score the big interview. And they didn’t come without sacrifice.

“You give up a little in your personal life when you travel and move around as much as I did,” Walters told us.

There’s still time to vote in our poll. Results will be revealed Friday.

Magic Johnson: Donald Sterling Asked Me for Joint Interview With Barbara Walters

Magic Johnson revealed that Donald Sterling asked him to do a joint interview with Barbara Walters.

“He wanted me to go on Barbara Walters with him and try to save him, and his reputation,” Johnson told TMZ, adding he declined the invitation, and told Sterling that he needed to apologize, not only to him, but all minorities. Walters interviewed Sterling’s mistress V. Stiviano Friday, May 2, and Sterling’s wife, Shelly, on Sunday.

Anderson Cooper follows up his exclusive with Donald Sterling with an interview with Johnson tonight on “AC360.” The Clippers’ owner suggested Johnson doesn’t do enough for minorities and is a poor role model. Johnson fires back, saying, “He’s a man who’s upset and he’s reaching. He’s trying to find something that he can grab on to help him save his team. And it’s not going to happen.”

What’s Your Favorite Barbara Walters Interview?

Barbara Walters ends her legendary five-decade run of interviewing the world’s most high-profile people on Friday, when she retires from ABC News.

From sitting down with polarizing world leaders, to figures that created national firestorms, Walters’ interviews were hallmarks for breaking news, legendary sound bites, and launching news cycles.

Ahead of her final day hosting “The View” Friday, we’re asking you what your favorite Barbara Walters interview was over the years. We’ll keep the poll open throughout the week, and post your top choice on Friday.

Dueling Sterlings: Anderson Cooper Interviews Donald, Barbara Walters Interviews Shelly

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It was a Sterling Sunday on TV news. Barbara Walters, who will be stepping down from ABC News later this week, interviewed Shelly Sterling, wife of the controversial LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in New York City. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Anderson Cooper interviewed Sterling himself who is asking for forgiveness and a second chance.

“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” Sterling tells Cooper. “Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again.”

Cooper: Why wait so long to apologize, it’s been a couple of weeks you could have come out.
Sterling: Well that’s a very good question, I just I’m just so emotionally distraught, and the reason it’s hard for me, very hard for me is that I’m wrong. I caused the problem. I don’t know how to correct it.

Sterling’s wife Shelly told Walters if the NBA tries to force her to sell her half of the Clippers, she would “absolutely” fight to keep her stake in the team. She also says she will “eventually” divorce her estranged husband. “For the last 20 years, I’ve been seeing attorneys for a divorce,” she said, laughing. “In fact, I have here– I just filed– I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial advisor and my attorney said to me, ‘Not now.’”

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Barbara Walters Gets the Last Word on ‘SNL’

Gilda Radner, Cheri Oteri, Rachel Dratch and Nasim Pedrad have all played her on “Saturday Night Live.” But last night, Barbara Walters went on “Weekend Update” to show her appreciation for seeing her “groundbreaking career in journalism reduced to a cartoon character with a ridiculous voice.”

Walters, who retires on Friday from ABC News, gave some tips on how she has been able to remain in the business for 50 years. “Tip number four, do not be afraid to ask the tough questions, like, ‘if you’re a tree, what kind of a tree would you be?’ or, ‘your place or mine, Brokaw?’”

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