Update at bottom of post: Other bloggers react to Rosie announcement.
Controversial daytime television host Rosie O'Donnell just confirmed rumors on "The View" today that she will be leaving the show.
"I can't come to terms," O'Donnell said, referring to an ongoing contract dispute that she had been having with ABC, the owner of the show.
Despite her departure, O'Donnell will be a "frequent guest host," she said. "View" founder Barbara Walters said she was not involved in O'Donnell's negotiations with ABC and said that she was "sad" that the former solo daytime host was going to be leaving after such an "interesting" year.
O'Donnell's role as co-host of the syndicated talker has come under scrutiny in recent months for injecting her strident brand of left-wing politics into the show.
Ironically, after Rosie made her announcement, Walters made some left-wing remarks of her own, stating that George W. Bush "is the president, not a king" in response to her walk home from the office.
Full transcript from NB's Justin McCarthy below the fold.
ROSIE O’DONNELL: Okay, big breaking news, breaking news. Did you hear it’s on CNN as breaking news?
BARBARA WALTERS: I heard. I know a little bit about it.
O’DONNELL: Breaking news. I’ve decided that we couldn’t come to terms with my deal with ABC, so next year, I’m not going to be on “The View.” However, I will be coming back and guest hosting. I will be doing one hour specials on autism and depression and stuff that I’m interested in. I’m just not going to do the everyday thing, because they wanted three years. I wanted one year. And they were like “okay [groaning back and forth]” and it just didn’t work out. And that’s showbiz, but it’s not sad, because I loved it here and I love you guys. And I’m not going away. I’m just not going to be here everyday, alright? [applause]ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Once a week?
O’DONNELL: Yeah, something like that. Now Barbara wants- go ahead Barbara.
WALTERS: Well, you keep saying don't be saddened, we should all be upbeat. And I am sad, okay, I am sad. Because I induced her to come here, I knew you were only coming for one year. I hoped that it would be more than one year. We have had, to say the least an interesting year.
O'DONNELL: We certainly have!
WALTERS: We've had an exciting, fun-filled, provocative, we have all loved it, we have all gotten together and you will be missed. Very much.
O'DONNELL: Thank you. But I'll still be on my blog.
WALTERS: I would like to make one thing perfectly clear. I do not participate in the negotiations for Rosie.
O'DONNELL: Correct, it's ABC Daytime.
WALTERS: It was ABC Daytime. And you know, I'm going to read, oh I did this and I did that and it brings back a lot of other things that I was accused of doing and did not do. It was between your representatives and ABC Daytime.
WALTERS: This was not my doing or my choice. Rosie will be on with us til the end of June. And, and.
O'DONNELL: Yes. Per my contract. They're not kicking me out. Don't worry! It's okay!
Official ABC (owner of "View") article:
Rosie O'Donnell is leaving "The View." ABC has been unable to come to a contractual agreement with "The View" co-host. As a result, her duties on the show will come to an end mid-June.
The president of daytime programming for the Disney-ABC Television Group, Brian Frons, told ABCNEWS.com, "Going in we knew we would have an amazing year with her, and that anything beyond that would be gravy. But we were willing to take the chance because we understood what a coup it was to entice her back to daytime television. So here we are a year later, and while we've tried to come to terms on a deal that would extend her co-hosting duties on 'The View,' we find ourselves unable to agree on some key elements."
According to Barbara Walters, creator and co-executive producer of "The View," the departure is an amicable one.
In a statement, Walters said: "I induced Rosie to come back to television on 'The View' even for just one year. She has given the program new vigor, new excitement and wonderful hours of television. I can only be grateful to her for this year. I am very sad that ABC Daytime could not reach an agreement with her for a second year. We will all miss Rosie on 'The View,' and hope she will be back with us often next season. She remains for me a cherished friend and colleague."
O'Donnell said: "This has been an amazing experience, and one I wouldn't have traded for the world. Working with Barbara, Joy and Elisabeth has been one of the highlights of my career, but my needs for the future just didn't dovetail with what ABC was able to offer me. To all the viewers out there, I just want to say 'thank you' for opening up your hearts and your homes to me this past year. But you can always find me at rosie.com. Here's hoping there's more confetti for all of us going forward."
Update 10:33 | Matthew Sheffield. NB has a bit of news on this point as well. Last fall, we held a contest to see who could most closely predict who and when someone would leave "The View." Congrats go out to Guy Arthur Thomas who guessed the closest:
Rosie will go but the decision won't come until next year. I predict June 15, 2007 Rosie "The Pig" O'Donnell gets the axe.
P.S. And Hasselbeck, if you are reading this, stick to your guns, don't you cut and run, and if you are going make 'em fire you.
Guy wins a free, limited edition Rosie O'Donnell doll and any conservative book of his choosing. Send me a PM to claim your prize!
Update (Ken Shepherd | 17:05 EDT): Here's just a few blogs buzzing about Rosie's departure: