A new report claims Barbara Walters' live television appearances are being regulated by ABC executives in order to focus on her revamped talk show, The View.
Sources tell Page Six the 84-year-old had wanted to appear live on the daytime program she helped create, but settled for a pre-taped segment when network heads nixed the idea.
It was also rumored the legendary journalist was asked to guest-host NBC's Today Show last week with Matt Lauer, but declined because of ABC.
“They [NBC] asked Barbara, and she in turn asked ABC. There was a brief conversation, and ultimately she decided not to do it, because she wants to be loyal to ABC and not appear on the competition,” the source says.
On Sept. 10, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb co-hosted the 7 o'clock Today Show hour and seemingly confirmed the rumor by joking, “We’re sorry Barbara Walters couldn’t make it. You’re stuck with us.”
But according to the pioneer herself, she never wanted to be on air during The View's first week, choosing instead to preside over the green room. "How silly!" she said in response to reports. "I deliberately taped a piece at the top, gave it my blessing, and now they’re off to the races.”
Another Page Six source adds, "[Barbara is] very savvy about TV and knows that if she was a live guest, all the headlines would be about that and not the new hosts.”
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