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Barbara Walters: Elisabeth Hasselbeck not exiting 'The View'

UPI News Service, 03/11/2013 

Barbara Walters said on Monday's edition of "The View" neither she nor co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck are leaving the New York chat show.

"View" panelist Joy Behar announced last week she is leaving the program after 16 1/2 years to pursue other projects.

The announcement sparked subsequent reports saying Walters intends to retire from the show at the end of this season and Hasselbeck's contract wouldn't be renewed because audience members don't like her conservative views.

However, Walters emphasized Monday neither she nor Hasselbeck have any plans to leave the show.

"There is a particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth's alleged departure. They are saying we don't approve of her conservative views. The truth is, we love Elisabeth. I like her personally and she is just a wonderful person, but, beyond that, we value and appreciate her point of view. It's important to us because Elisabeth helps give this show perspective and balance. And, believe me, she's tougher than she looks. She would have to be to sit here for a decade and take the kind of guff we give her. So, we have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show," Walters said as the studio audience cheered and clapped.

"Having said that to all of you, [executive producer] Bill Geddie and I have always said, when one of you makes the choice to leave, that's your choice and we will support your decision," Walters told co-hosts Behar, Hasselbeck, Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd. "But, right now, the only person who cannot leave this show is me."

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