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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

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In Movies & TV Commentary

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, Barbara Walters and Joy Behar attend the award ceremony honoring Walters with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 2007. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com )

Barbara Wa-Wa is so outta here - next year


Now she may actually take the advice that her daytime talk show ends with every day.

"Take a little time to enjoy the view."

Barbara Walters, who has been in television for 50 years, has set the time for her to walk into the sunset. ABC News was the first to present the information on Monday morning, but wasn't the first outlet to share the report as it was leaked out over the weekend.

For a person who has interviewed some of the biggest politicians in the world, she too showed some savvy in spinning her own tale. I am late to the party in reporting the latest news here, but that's not my role with this column on area and national media. There are other outlets poised to scramble to get the latest news and celebrity scoops. I'm here to provide some perspective.

The quote "rumors" of her retirement were started by herself months ago. She leaked the information, just like most entertainment venues do. NBC leaked most of its scheduling information of the fall season in spurts last week before its annual Upfront presentation on Monday with the official details. TV writers will be scrambling this entire week to cover all the angles coming out of New York.

In an effort to get a few headlines of its own and steal NBC's thunder, Walters' official announcement of her exit comes mere hours before NBC's Upfront … a meeting with network executives and top advertising reps. It was masterful timing.

Walt Disney president Bob Iger and ABC television group president Anne Sweeney were in New York anyway for ABC's Upfront later this week. Monday morning, there they were on the set of "The View" ready to congratulate Walters as her co-hosts gush with respect and affection for the women who makes it possible for them to get a paycheck.

The word trailblazer is true in its description of what Walters has accomplished in television, and she has walked the walk enough to earn each and every kudo that is being sent her way. She will leave ABC News in 2014, but will stay on as a co-executive producer of "The View" as long as it stays on the air.

But the leak over the weekend, the announcement on "Good Morning America" and her official announcement on "The View" during the May sweeps was masterful. Not only will the network get a ratings glow during this period, but ABC grabbed a few headlines away from NBC on what was penciled in as everything peacock.

SPEAKING OF UPFRONTS: NBC is aiming for a few comedies to get an audience in an effort to make Thursday nights "Must See TV" like it had years ago. "Sean Saves The World," "Welcome To The Family" and the much-talked about "Michael J. Fox Show" make the bulk of the lineup.

Blair Underwood plays the title character in a remake of "Ironside" as a wheel-chair using ex-cop who solves cases. People may remember the original show that starred "Perry Mason" actor Raymond Burr.

ONE GRAND: On Wednesday, Fox News will be airing the 1,000th episode of "Hannity" at 8 p.m. Conservative talk show host Sean Hannity will acknowledge his show's milestone during his primetime program.

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