Barbara Walters to announce retirement

First US female co-anchor, Barbara Walters, will announce her retirement on The View.

TV personality Barbara Walters. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - Pioneering journalist Barbara Walters, the first woman to co-anchor a US evening news program, plans to announce her retirement on The View on Monday, the host network ABC said.

In an entertainment blog posting on Sunday, the network said Walters, 83, would announce on Monday on The View, the all-women talk show she created in 1997 that she would retire from television journalism next summer.

"Until then, she will continue to anchor and report for ABC News, appear on The View, and anchor specials throughout the year," the blog stated, noting that Walters would remain an executive producer of the show.

"I am very happy with my decision and look forward to a wonderful and special year ahead both on The View and with _ABC News," the blog quoted her as saying. "I created The View _and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it."

ABC sources said in March that, after more than five decades as a prominent figure on US television, Walters planned to retire in May 2014.

Walters had open heart surgery in 2010. She fainted, hit her head and suffered a concussion in January, and was then diagnosed with chicken pox, causing her to miss more than a month of work.

She is best known as one of the top interviewers on US television, counting an array of world leaders as subjects, including Cuba's Fidel Castro, Britain's Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein of Iraq and every US president since Richard Nixon.

Walters got her start in television journalism in 1961 as a writer on NBC's_ Today_, a show she would later become the first woman to co-host.

In 1976, she became the first woman to co-anchor a television evening news broadcast on any US network for ABC Evening News

Walters has also worked as a producer and host of the ABC news magazine 20/20 and as a correspondent for ABC News.

ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co.