Barbara Walters, who stepped down from 20/20 last year, had this advice for outgoing Nightline host Ted Koppel: There is really no such thing as retiring at ABC News.
Of course, one difference is that Walters' continued a relationship with the network, while Koppel's appears to be a clean break.
“I thought I was going to be in charge of my own schedule,” Walters said. But instead, along with her duties on The View, last week Walters subbed two days on Good Morning America and will soon leave for a story in Israel. “I was asked to cover the royal wedding too, but I am going to Israel,” she added.
The interview maven stepped in at the last minute for an ill Peter Jennings to speak to a crowd of about 900 local broadcast and advertising executives gathered in New York for the Television Bureau of Advertising conference.
Advertisers' obsession with younger 18-49 year-old viewers, she said, has changed the news magazine format, one Walters dominated for years. “You need more high-profile guests and themes. Everything has been raised a decibel.”
Some of the more serious interviews Walters said she loves wouldn’t play well with younger viewers. “On Thursday or Friday at 10 p.m., the audience is not interested in [an interview with] the prime minister of Israel,” she said.