Returning Monday from a two-week break in taping "The View," Barbara Walters was immediately asked (by co-host Whoopi Goldberg) about last week's reports saying that she will retire next year.

While stopping short of quipping that "reports of her death are premature," she came close: "There were lots of stories," she affirmed, "saying I was retiring from ABC and there was an assumption I would be making an announcement today."

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However, she added, "Here I am and I have no announcement to make but I do want to say this, that if and when I do have an announcement to make, it will be on the program and the paparazzi" -- referring to a few who had decamped outside her home Monday -- "will be the last to know."

Walters is expected to announce on "The View" in May that she will step down in 2014, marking 50 years on television.