The rumor that Elisabeth Hasselbeck is leaving "The View” refuses to go away. A new report by the New York Post’s Page Six says the show’s outspoken conservative is headed out the door when her contract is up next year.
This despite Barbara Walters’ adamant denial that Hasselbeck is getting fired, as we reported previously.
Some observers have accused the show of stirring up the controversy over Hasselbeck as a ratings stunt. But the reason for Walters’ denial of her departure has to do with a mishandled transition, the story says. Someone leaked the news about Hasselbeck, and Walters called off her firing as a result, according to the report.
"The View" needs to refresh itself, with ratings softening and likability numbers for its hosts "scaring" ABC executives, the story notes.
Potential replacements include former top model Christie Brinkley, who is said to be lobbying for the job, and Brooke Shields, the story says. ABC executives also like Ali Wentworth, the wife of "Good Morning America" anchor George Stephanopoulos, who has the advantage of already being viewed as part of the ABC family, according to the report.
A representative for the show denied claims that Walters is angry about the situation. “She loves these women and wants what’s best for them,” the rep said. “Everything else is speculation. Producers haven’t begun to search for a new co-host. We have no further comment.”