Barbara Jill Walters is an American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. Walters is known for having hosted a variety of television programs, including Today, The View, 20/20, and the ABC Evening News. Since retirement as a full-time host and contributor, she continued to occasionally report for ABC News through 2015.Walters first became known as a television personality in the early 1960s, when she was a writer and segment producer of "women's interest stories" on the NBC News morning program The Today Show, where she began work with host Hugh Downs. As a result of her outstanding interviewing ability and her popularity with viewers, she received more airtime on the program. Even though her production duties made her a significant contributor to the program, she had no input in choosing a successor for Downs when he left in 1971, and Frank McGee was hired. In 1974, at the time of McGee's death, Walters became co-host of the program, the first woman to hold such a title on an American news program.In 1976, continuing as a pioneer for women in broadcasting, she became the first female co-anchor of a network evening news, working with Harry Reasoner on the ABC News flagship program, the ABC Evening News, earning an unprecedented US$1 million per year.
From 1979 to 2004, she worked as co-host and a producer for the ABC newsmagazine 20/20.
In 1997, Walters created and debuted as a co-host on The View, a daytime talk show with an all-female panel. She retired as a co-host of The View in 2014 after 16 seasons, but still serves as its executive producer.Since her retirement from The View, she has hosted a number of special reports for 20/20 and ABC News, as well as a documentary series for Investigation Discovery. Additionally, Walters continued to host her annual 10 Most Fascinating People special on ABC. Her final on-air appearance for ABC News was in 2015.In 1996, Walters was ranked #34 on the TV Guide "50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time" list, and in 2000 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.