PALM DESERT, Calif. - You may have heard, broadcast icon, Barbara Walters is retiring. All week long ABC has been celebrating her 50 plus years in the business. Each day on The View, that airs right here on News Channel 3 at 10 a.m., special guests have appeared to pay tribute to Walters.
Tonight at 9, a two hour special looking back at Barbara's life, will feature highlights from high profile interviews, clips from her Network stints and an assortment of video from the good and not so good times on the The View.
And, the one man who has been at Walter's side for the past 25 years will interview her tonight, asking the tough questions. Bill Geddie is no stranger to the interview format, he is the Executive Producer of The View and has helped produce Walter's Prime Time Specials, and nearly four-thousand episodes of The View.
As Walters eases off her daily duties and scales back her television appearances, Geddie talks to News Channel 3 Anchor, Karen Devine about what it's been like working so closely with the matriarch of broadcast news all these years. And, he tells us what's next for The View minus Barbara Walters.
When asked what it's been like to work with, "The Barbara Walters," Bill Geddie didn't hesitate and said, "25 years working with Barbara, it has been absolutely amazing. I am the luckiest man on earth because I get to work with the best in the business for 25 years."
In the past quarter century there's not been an interview or prime-time special featuring Walters without Bill Geddie. They are a team, different as can be. She's Boston-New York, he's Oklahoma-Texas.
Geddie says they each bring different sensibilities to the table making them a great combo. She trusts his decision making, and, "I trust hers, says Geddie, and she has a very good eye and is a very good editor, so she lets you take a hack at it first, and let's you present what you think it should be and then she either loves it or tells you what's wrong with it and she's right 99.9% of the time."
In 1997 Geddie and Walters pitched the idea of a panel of women discussing the news of the day including social and political issues to ABC News, neither one of them had one daytime television. The Network picked it up, but even the creators were skeptical that the show would take off.
"Did we think it would work, no we didn't think it would work," said Geddie, "we thought it was a bold idea, we thought it was too smart in some ways, so did many people."
17 seasons so far and The View is still going strong. Oh, but there has been some controversy. Putting five strong women at the table discussing their opinions on any given issue, sometimes turned into very loud arguments between co-hosts, making headlines and newscasts across the country.
"I think that our show has always been sort of raw and honest and it's live. And there aren't many live shows left and there's certainly aren't many live shows where we talk about the things we talk about so sooner or later they're going to rub each other the wrong way at any given moment. And, I have always embraced it", said Geddie "and Barbara has too. So, I'm not sorry about any of that, I'm not sorry about any hires, I think it's all for the best."
Bill Geddie will continue to produce The View and be there on a daily basis guiding the co-hosts during the one hour show. But, he says, the program will be different without Walters. He says it was different when Rosie left or when Meredith left, but he says that's how the show rejuvenates itself.
"I can tell you this, we will never replace Barbara Walters ever. So anybody we rehire will never replace Barbara. There's no one to replace Barbara Walters ever," said Geddie. "We are going to hire someone, I think that hire will happen in the fall, but no one replaces Barbara."