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ABC announces Rosie O'Donnell will leave 'The View' immediately

UPI News Service, 05/25/2007 

Rosie O'Donnell's days as a co-host on "The View" are over now instead of in June, ABC announced Friday in New York.

"We had hoped that Rosie would be with us until the end of her contract three weeks from now but Rosie has informed us that she would like an early leave," Brian Frons, president of Disney-ABC's Daytime Television Group, said in a statement.

Frons thanked O'Donnell for her "tremendous contribution" and wished her well, ABC reported.

Barbara Walters, the show's creator and co-executive producer who hired O'Donnell, said: "Rosie contributed to one of our most exciting and successful years at 'The View.' Our close and affectionate relationship will not change."

O'Donnell, whose last day originally was June 20, said in a statement: "I'm extremely grateful. It's been an amazing year and I love all three women."

O'Donnell and co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck have had pointed political exchanges. On Wednesday, an exchange between the two about the war in Iraq became very heated and the audience applauded when co-host Joy Behar sought a commercial break.

Walters Thursday called speculation that the arguments were designed for ratings "just absurd."

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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