Barbara Walters promises that when she signs off from TV next month, she will not pull a Jay Leno and start crying.
“I’m not going to cry,” Walters says said to Variety. She recalls watching Jay Leno’s misty final appearance on “The Tonight Show” in February. “I think Jay felt that he was pushed out,” Walters says. “I don’t feel like I’m being pushed out. This was my decision.” Walters says she settled on a timeline for her departure three years ago, as rumors about her retirement began to swirl.
It’s been a long goodbye. With Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger in the “View” audience last spring, Walters first announced she would step down in 2014; this week she told viewers her final day on the show would be May 16. The send-off will include a two-hour primetime documentary about her career. Walters’ longevity is notable in that she was a driving force in the rise of the superstar TV news personality, and she has endured into an era when that kind of authoritative star power is waning. (Just ask Katie Couric or Brian Williams.)
As she prepares to leave, Walters admits she doesn’t feel sad. “I should really be depressed, but I’m not,” she says. “So maybe there’s something wrong with me. What’s wrong with this woman that she’s not depressed about leaving television?”