Rosie Falls from View
After one season, four public feuds, a few hundred thousand viewers and countless headlines, Rosie O'Donnell is calling it a day on daytime.
The larger than life View cohost announced on Wednesday morning's show that her first season as moderator of the femme-fueled coffee klatch would also be her last, with her tenure scheduled to end in mid-June.
"This has been an amazing experience and one I wouldn't have traded for the world," O'Donnell said. "Working with Barbara, Joy and Elisabeth has been one of the highlights of my careers, but my needs for the future just didn't dovetail with what ABC was able to offer me."
ABC confirmed that the departure was not due to O'Donnell's high-profile wars of words with the likes of Donald Trump, Kelly Ripa, Bill O'Reilly and the Chinese-American population, but rather on the network and O'Donnell's inability to come to an agreement on a one-year contract extension.
Barbara Walters, O'Donnell's boss, cohost and unwitting Trump feud participant, stressed that the split was an amicable one, despite the Koosh ball-loving TV vet's outspokenness over the past year.
"I induced Rosie to come back to television on The View even for just one year," Walters said. "She has given the program new vigor, new excitement and wonderful hours of television. I can only be grateful to her for this 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."
Reports of O'Donnell's exit strategy surfaced almost immediately after she first took over for Meredith Vieira ast September. Aside from only being contracted to head up the show for one year, there were persistent rumors of potential prime-time gigs (i.e., a full-time part on Nip/Tuck). And she seemed to be racking up more enemies than Star Jones did wedding freebies.
But all the controversy didn't hurt. The View's viewership has been up throughout Rosie's run, including a more than 15 percent year-to-year increase during February's all important sweeps, and the numbers continue to climb. The O'Donnell-powered show is also vying for Outstanding Talk Show and Outstanding Talk Show Hosts at Daytime Emmys on June 5.
Despite the success, O'Donnell has hinted that her View sojourn would be brief. In comments on her punctuation-averse blog, she admitted she was having difficulty making the transition from solo host to one of four opinionated personalities.
As recently as Tuesday, O'Donnell hinted that the end was nigh in a video blog posted to rosie.com, saying, seemingly out of nowhere while answering viewer queries: "Listen, the blog's gonna continue. Remember that. It's not going away."
Earlier this month, the Los Angeles Times said that an announcement on O'Donnell's future was imminent, after a reporter overheard O'Donnell field a question about her future on the show with an audience member.
When asked whether she would continue airing her grievances, and interviewing celebs, on the morning staple, O'Donnell reportedly told the audience member, "I don't know. We're going to have a family meeting at the end of May to see what's going on, and every kid gets a vote."
Apparently, the vote took place a little sooner than expected.
ABC said it has no current plans to name a new cohost.
And you say I am paranoid.