NEW YORK, March 11 Barbara Walters on Monday
denied reports that Elisabeth Hasselbeck was leaving the daytime
television talk show "The View," saying the co-host gave the
show "perspective and balance."
US Weekly magazine on Friday first reported Hasselbeck, 35,
would leave the ABC talk show at the end of the season in
August, citing an unnamed source who said Hasselbeck's outspoken
conservative views did not attract enough viewers. Deadline.com
and the Hollywood Reporter also reported that Hasselbeck's
contract would not be renewed.
"There is a particularly false story that keeps getting
picked up about Elisabeth's alleged departure, saying that we
don't approve of her conservative views," Walters, who created
the long-running talk show, said on Monday's program.
"The truth is we love Elisabeth. I like her personally and
she's just a wonderful person," Walters said.
"But beyond that, we value and appreciate her point of view,
it's important to us because Elisabeth helps give the show
perspective and balance," Walters said. "So we have no plans for
Elisabeth to leave."
ABC had previously released a statement following the
reports saying only that Hasselbeck "is a valued member of 'The
View' and has a long-term contract."
Hasselbeck joined the long-running women-oriented talk show
in 2003 and became known for her heated arguments with former
co-host and liberal Rosie O'Donnell.
Co-host Joy Behar, who has been with the program since its
debut in 1997, said on Thursday that she would leave the show
after the current season.
ABC is owned by Walt Disney Co.