With ABC becoming full owner of “The View,” after buying out Barbara Walters‘ stake over the summer, the network announced today that the daytime talker will now fall under the purview of ABC News after more than 17 years under the entertainment division, this despite a drastic makeover this fall with the inclusion of three new hosts joining Whoopi Goldberg on the panel. With the talk show now falling under the umbrella of the news division, “General Hospital” and “The Chew” remain the only entertainment programming airing during the daytime on the network.
Variety reports that Ben Sherwood, co-president, Disney/ABC Television Group, has had a hand in moving the talker — which had been a ratings jewel for ABC Daytime up until recent years — to the non-fiction division of the network’s news division, where it will join ABC News president James Goldston’s portfolio, which includes Lincoln Square Productions. “Moving ‘The View’ to our non-fiction programming group now allows it to fully draw on the vast resources of ABC News and our team in New York, where the show is based right next door,” Goldston said in an internal memo to staffers this morning. “In addition to their current and vital roles, I’ve asked Tom Cibrowski, Barbara Fedida and David Sloan to work closely with Randy Barone, Bill Wolff, Brian Balthazar, Kathleen Rajsp and the very talented team on-air and behind the scenes at ‘The View.’ Tom, Barbara and David have helped take our shows to the next level and worked on a wide range of diverse news and non-fiction programming. Now they’ll help guide ‘The View’ in its exciting next chapter. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with this terrific team.”
Included in the changes to “The View” are plans to skew toward a younger audience, something the show has had trouble with as of late. “The show has fallen 10 percent in the last year among female viewers between the ages 18 to 49, but it’s up 1 percent in total viewers,” stated Variety in its report. “’The View’s’ new panel [which includes Rosie O’Donnell, Rosie Perez and Republican strategist Nicole Wallace] has struggled to find its voice this season. The Hot Topics segments have focused more on hard news, like Ebola and ISIS, as opposed to celebrities and reality stars, the sweet spot for the knockoff CBS series ‘The Talk.’ The four co-hosts are all older than 40, which goes against the idea of Barbara Walters’ original pitch for ‘The View’: to make the debates multi-generational. Perez could be taking a hiatus from the show in the winter, since she’s signed to appear in a Broadway play, which may give executives an opening to test other co-hosts. Insiders say it’s too early to tell if a new cast member will join the show later this season, but the very possibility of a change is indicative of concerns with the panel’s chemistry.”
“The shakeup poses many questions about what sources describe as dysfunction inside ABC Daytime,” the report continues, “which was folded into ABC’s entertainment division in 2011, and has a sparse plate that includes an upcoming Tyra Banks talk show, ‘The Chew’ and ‘General Hospital.’ One of the chief recent disappointments was ‘Katie,’ the much-hyped Katie Couric 2012 talk show that hemorrhaged millions and was axed after two seasons.”
For more on the changes happening to “The View,” as well as behind the scenes at ABC Daytime, check out the original report here.