Barbara Jill Walters is an American broadcast journalist, author, and television personality. She has hosted morning television shows Today and The View, the television news magazine 20/20, co-anchored the ABC Evening News, and is a contributor to ABC News. Walters first became known as a television personality when she was a writer and segment producer of "womenʻs interest stories" on the morning NBC News program The Today Show, where she began work with host Hugh Downs in 1962, once even modeling a swimsuit when an expected model did not show up. Because of her excellent interviewing ability and her popularity with the viewers, and when other women left the program, she was eventually allowed more air time. Even though her production duties made her a significant contributor to the show, she had no input in choosing a successor for Hugh Downs when he left the show in 1971. Frank McGee was hired. Although his salary was twice hers, at Frank McGeeʻs death in 1974, because of a clause added to her contract by her agent, she acquired the title "co-host", the first woman by that title for any network news or public affairs program. Jim Hartz became her co-host. Two years later, continuing as a pioneer for women, she became the first female co-anchor of any network evening news, working with Harry Reasoner on the ABC News flagship program ABC Evening News. From 1979 to 2004, Walters worked 25 years as co-host and a producer for the ABC newsmagazine 20/20. From 1976 to 2010, she contributed as an anchor, reporter, and correspondent for ABC News, along with producing and hosting her own special interview programs several times yearly. Beginning in 1997, she has created, and appears as co-host on, The View.
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