ABC News’ Westin: ‘No Replacing Barbara Walters’

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Talking to staffers Monday about Barbara Walters’ announced departure from 20/20, ABC News president David Westin said, "There’s no replacing Barbara Walters," according to ABC spokesman Jeff Schneider.

It was not clear, though, whether he was speaking figuratively or whether John Stossel will be captaining the ship solo.

Schneider says there will be lots of time to figure out what to do. "We won’t have the ‘big get’ every week, and there will be a different mix on the show. If that means a different mix of correspondents, that’s what it means."

Schneider said Walters’ departure has been in discussion for some time and there was no precipitating event. She joined the show in 1979, co-hosting with Hugh Downs until Downs left in 1999.Stossel was named co-anchor last May after having been with the show since 1981.

Walters announced Sunday that she will leave 20/20 in September to focus on ABC News specials and her Barbara Walter Specials but will continue to host and executive-produce daytime talker The View. "I want to have more flexibility in my life without the responsibilities of a weekly newsmagazine," she said.

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