ABC News announced that its headquarters in New York City will get a new name honoring a television fixture who is about to retire: Barbara Walters.
Walters today announced that May 16 will be the last day she will appear as a co-host of the daytime talk show "The View," and ABC will present a two-hour special that night focused on Walters' life and career, ABC News reports.
The announcement comes almost a year after the TV icon announced plans to bow out from daily TV. Walters will remain an executive producer on "The View" and will continue her relationship with ABC News as a contributor.
ABC will air a two-hour prime-time special May 16 (9-11 p.m.) focused on Walters.
Said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive of The Walt Disney Company: "In this business there are legends, there are icons, and then there is Barbara Walters. She's a dear friend and colleague as well as someone I deeply admire, and it's impossible to fully convey her impact and influence on television. She broke barriers, defied convention, made history and set the standard for journalistic excellence for more than 50 years. It's hard to imagine television without her."
The report adds: "Walters joined the network in 1976, becoming the first female anchor on an evening news program. Three years later, she became a co-host of '20/20,' and in 1997, she launched 'The View.' Because of these accomplishments, among others, ABC News Headquarters in New York City will be named in her honor during a dedication ceremony that will take place this spring. Meanwhile, in the days leading up to her retirement, 'The View' will toast Walters' career with a week-long celebration."
Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks, and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, added: "Barbara Walters was one of the first people I met as an ABC page almost 38 years ago. She was fiercely intelligent, impressive and inspiring then, and remains so to this day. I am honored that I've had the rare opportunity to work, and learn, from her all these years. Her influence on television, and American culture, will resonate for decades to come."