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Barbara Walters makes it official: Leaving next summer

Barbara Walters attends the Woman's Day 8th Red

Barbara Walters attends the Woman's Day 8th Red Dress Awards on Feb. 8, 2011 at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Credit: Getty Images

 Barbara Walters -- who is clearly in no hurry to find the exit -- finally announced a little while ago that she will leave "The View" and her multiple other gigs "next summer."

Yes, a year away (and always time to change one's mind, too).

“I am very happy with my decision and look forward to a wonderful and special year ahead both on ‘The View’ and with ABC News. I created ‘The View’ and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it.”  

She'll stay on even after next summer as showrunner. 

And as you know, executive producers of major shows like "The View" have a habit of turning up on the air now and then.

So is this really a retirement?

Per her announcement,  “I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain,” she says. “I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women—and okay, some men, too—who will be taking my place.”

Walters -- whom we have all known a very long time -- is not someone to "sit on a sunny field."

Therefore, let's just enjoy her "last" year along with her. 

(Meanwhile, this all broke weeks ago, and Babs was highly reluctant to confirm any of it, even though everyone else did. Ergo, is there a certain ambivalence one may read in these words of hers?)

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