Television

Walters calls it a day on ABC's '20/20' after 25 years

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MUMBAI: This is a big moment in the annals of American television. Anchor Barbara Walters who has done memorable interviews on ABC's 20/20 with the likes of Monica Lewinsky, Cuban President Fidel Castro, actor Christopher Reeve after his riding accident is stepping down as the show's host after 25 years.

A report in eonline indicates that from September she will cut back on her work schedule to six news specials a year for ABC News. This will include her annual Oscar special.

Walters issued a statement saying that the decision had been taken as she was looking for a greater degree of flexibility in her life. The report adds that her March 1999 interview with Lewinsky attracted 48.5 million viewers. An AP report stated that 20/20 is often done with a soft-focus camera and features teary subjects.

Walters was concerned about the fact that people were more interested in seeing celebrities and people from the showbiz arena. She once told the New York Times, "We did Castro and it was a huge interview. But we did much better in the ratings with Courteney Cox and David Arquette."

In 1990 Walters was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences' Hall of Fame. The 74 year old has been in front of the cameras since 1963 when she became the co-host of NBC's Today Show.

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