When the respected, trailblazing broadcast journalist Barbara Walters created The View in 1997, the goal was to showcase a panel of women across generations, party lines, and positions to discuss the Hot Topics of the day. That format has remained the same, though the execution has been more unwieldy in recent years. Let's face it: While fans appreciate the lively conversation and debate these women bring to the table, many are drawn to the occasional on-air chaos.
With plenty of controversies and lots of turnover, The View has been a revolving door for talent, with everyone from respected journalists and legal experts to famous actresses and quippy comedians hosting ABC's daytime talk show over the years. Some left on good terms with the network, while others went out swinging. Here's every host of The View and why they departed.
Barbara Walters (1997–2014)
In the early days of The View, Barbara Walters was the biggest draw for both audiences and potential hosts. After all, who wouldn't want to gather around one of the most famous journalists in the world while she redefines what television journalism can be? Walters created the show and hosted it from 1997 to 2014, and remained an executive producer thereafter. As for why she left, accounts differ: Fellow panelist and friend Lisa Lingtold The Cut in March 2023 that the creator told her, "They're making me quit," but Walters always maintained it was her own decision. The iconic journalist died in December 2022 at 93, leaving an incredible legacy behind her.
Meredith Vieira (1997–2006)
Most former hosts of The View tend to fall into two categories: those who left for better opportunities and those who were asked to leave. Fortunately, Meredith Vieira is one of the former. The industry legend was an original panelist and moderator for the show, introducing Hot Topics discussions until 2006, wherein she left to take over for Katie Couric on the Today show. She eventually headlined her own short-lived talk show and anchored Dateline NBC in addition to her time on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Vieira currently serves as host and executive producer of the game show 25 Words or Less.
Joy Behar (1997–2013, 2015–present)
For many fans, Joy Behar is the face of The View. She's the longest-running host in the gab fest's history, with a 16-year tenure from the show's debut in 1997 to 2013, when she was let go. Still, she continued to guest host before returning as a series regular just two years later — and she's stayed ever since. These days, Behar is the only original member on the panel and has been very candid about enjoying her brief break after she was fired. "I was happy because all my friends had left already," she clarified on the show in February 2023. "So, there was no reason to stay anymore."
Since her return, Behar has continued to bring her signiture comic relief to the show. She even poked fun at her hiatus on air in 2023, stating, "This is the premiere show of our 27th year, we've been here for 27 years. I was here for all of it, except for two, when they canned me. They sacked my behind. This feels the same, yeah, it's Groundhog Day every day for me." And now that she's literally been a part of The View for decades, it's difficult to imagine Behar being ousted from the show ever again.
Star Jones (1997–2006)
Star Jones might have had the same long run on The View as Joy Behar if not for some ugly behind-the-scenes negotiations. She started hosting in 1997 and left in 2006 because she couldn't get the network to renew her contract. Like Behar, she's been candid about her exit from the show, telling PEOPLE at the time, "I feel like I was fired," after nearly a decade of hosting.
To make things worse, Jones tried and failed to helm her own self-titled talk show (that only lasted six months) and later ended up competing on The Celebrity Apprentice. While a solo broadcasting career wasn't in the cards, it was announced in 2022 that the lawyer and television personality would become a host of Divorce Court.
Debbie Matenopoulos (1997–1999)
Debbie Matenopoulos had a short-lived stint on The View. When she began hosting in 1997, she was just 22 years old and fresh out of college, making her the youngest member of the show's popular panel alongside titans like Barbara Walters to help broaden the audience demographic. But that didn't go as planned, with the network letting her go after just two years. She was soon replaced by Lisa Ling and bounced back later with gigs at E!, VH1, and elsewhere.
Lisa Ling (1999–2002)
In many ways, Lisa Ling was the spiritual successor to Debbie Matenopoulos. She began hosting the same year that Debbie left, and was hired for her potential to appeal to young people as much as for her keen journalistic acumen. Nevertheless, Ling left the show in 2002, and there's some debate as to the reason why.
Both Ling and Barbara Walters insisted the young host cut ties to focus on serious reporting, but Ramin Setoodeh wrote a tell-all book about the show that alleges Ling was fired because she didn't stir the pot as much as the other women. Still, things worked out: In addition to being a successful investigative journalist with National Geographic and The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ling has hosted her own series This Is Life with Lisa Ling, and has a Max show, Take Out With Lisa Ling.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck (2003–2013)
Before joining The View as a host in 2003, Elisabeth Hasselbeck was mostly known for her appearance on the reality television series Survivor. As one of the most stridently political voices on the show, the network allegedly decided to cut ties with her in 2013 because audiences found her views to be too conservative. This is somewhat ironic in hindsight, as showrunners would later go out of their way to bring in prominent conservative voices, most notably Meghan McCain. Fortunately, Hasselbeck made the most of things by hosting Fox & Friends from 2013 until her retirement in 2015.
Rosie O'Donnell (2006–2007, 2014–2015)
Perhaps nobody has a more bizarre career on The View than Rosie O'Donnell. The comedian replaced Meredith Vieira as a moderator in 2006 but decided to leave less than a year later after she got into an on-air shouting match with Elisabeth Hasselbeck regarding the Iraq War. Interestingly, O'Donnell came back to the show in 2014, but she then left again just months later.
There are various reasons why she cut ties a second time, including everything from tensions with Whoopi Goldberg (who had O'Donnell's old job as moderator) to worsening health and separating from her wife. For better or worse, these short stints on the show and dramatic exits have made O'Donnell one of the most unpredictable hosts in The View's history.
Whoopi Goldberg (2007–present)
While Barbara Walters was once the biggest name associated with The View, that honor now belongs to Whoopi Goldberg. This legendary movie star became a co-host and moderator in 2007, and the show has never been the same. While she has occasionally sparred with other hosts (most notably Rosie O'Donnell), Goldberg generally gives the show the kind of affable, conversational vibe that keeps bringing fans back. In addition to leading the talk show, the actress is also an EGOT winner.
Sherri Shepherd (2007–2014)
Actress Sherri Shepherd brought some jovial energy to The View when she began hosting in 2007. As for why she exited the show in 2014, it depends on who you ask. Many sources at the time said that it came down to contract negotiations, while Shepherd also told audiences, "Seven in the Bible is the number of God's completion. And I've been here seven years and my time at The View is complete."
Movie star Rosie Perez(Do the RightThing, White Men Can't Jump) made history by becoming the first Latina co-host of The View. Fans really responded to her curious and friendly nature, and many were sad that she only lasted one year on the show. Unlike many names on this list, there was no drama associated with Perez's departure. Hosting The View meant she had fewer acting opportunities (though she did take a hiatus for a run on Broadway), and in 2015, she decided to return to her roots. The actress has since starred in many high-profile projects, ranging from the HBO show The Flight Attendant to the DCEU film Birds of Prey (2020).
Nicolle Wallace (2014–2015)
Formerly the White House Communications Director under George W. Bush, Nicolle Wallace was a right-leaning political commentator when she joined The View in 2014. Although she seemed to bond with Whoopi Goldberg, Wallace often clashed with others on the show like Rosie Perez and Rosie O'Donnell.
Interestingly, though, she was fired from the show in 2015 for not clashing enough: Producers apparently expected her to fight against any left-leaning position, and she was essentially let go for not causing enough onscreen drama. Later, Wallace told the Los Angeles Times, "Being fired from a TV show where you think you're kind of baring your soul feels personal because it is. It's like being broken up with."
When beloved former child star Raven-Symoné became a host of The View in 2015, many assumed she'd be a wholesome presence. However, she ended up causing several major controversies during her year-long tenure.
It wasn't surprising then, when Raven-Symoné left in 2016 to star in the Raven's Home reboot of her old Disney Channel show, That's So Raven. She later opened up in a video interview with them about not enjoying her time on The View, saying "Would I do it again? No… Did I learn massive lessons that it is a skill to be on live television and voice your opinions? Yes."
Candace Cameron Bure (2015–2016)
Former Full House star Candace Cameron Bure also hosted The View from 2015 to 2016. A devout Christian, Bure notably sparred with Raven-Symoné, who had recently come out, when she defended a bakery that refused service for a gay wedding on religious grounds. But in the grand scheme of View controversies, this didn't make a big splash. (She received much more heat in 2022 when she spoke in favor of faith-based programming with "traditional marriages at the core.")
Why the early exit, then? The main reason was that she was having trouble balancing hosting in New York with family life in Los Angeles, and her schedule became even more strained with the success of the Fuller House reboot and Hallmark channel projects. Years later, though, Bure also admitted she was happy to leave because she didn't like having to discuss politics every single day, and had previously hoped for much lighter content.
Michelle Collins (2015–2016)
While Bure is someone who left The View because she didn't want to talk politics, Michelle Collins is someone who was fired for talking about politics in the wrong way. The comedian was originally hired in 2015 to be a fresh and funny new face, but her sense of humor often clashed with the show's newfound political bent, which culminated in a major controversy where she made fun of Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's face.
Between on-air conflicts and the fact that the comedian had very little of substance to say about politics, the network was happy to let her go less than a year later, though she continued to guest host on the Bachelor franchise, the Today show, and her own Sirius XM morning show.
Paula Faris (2015–2018)
Paula Faris was juggling being an anchor of Good Morning America Weekend while also hosting The View, though she left both in 2018 for a new gig as a senior national correspondent for ABC News and to launch a faith podcast. Later, she said a tumultuous year influenced her split, which involved a miscarriage, a car crash, a concussion, and pneumonia. Faris decided all of this was a sign to make a change in her life, thus leaving The View in her rearview mirror.
Jedediah Bila (2016–2017)
When most people talk about losing a job due to politics, they mean the internal politics of the office. But for Jedediah Bila, who only hosted The View for a year, her gig was lost due to a different kind of politics. A former contributor to Fox News, Bila was recruited to be one of the show's conservative voices during an election year in 2016.
But there was a problem: She's an Libertarian rather than a Republican, and the network thought she wasn't representative enough of certain conservative beliefs. Ultimately, Bila was replaced by Meghan McCain, who was a much more recognizable name thanks to her famous father.
Sara Haines (2016–2018, 2020–present)
Sara Haines is one of those rare hosts of The View who left briefly on good terms and then came back to a very welcoming network. Originally, Haines hosted from 2016 to 2018 before stepping away to host Good Morning America Day, where she had previously been a weekend news anchor. Haines later came back as a permanent host in 2020, and she's still on the roster today (despite recent rumors of a potential departure). Oh, and in a fun twist, she appeared as herself in the Disney+ show The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, meaning that she is officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Sunny Hostin (2016–present)
It's an open secret that in the lead-up to the 2016 election, The View took on a more political bent. In order to discuss politics accurately, though, it's important to know the legal language behind various bills and laws, and that's where Sunny Hostin comes in. As a veteran legal analyst for ABC, CNN, and Fox, the expert lawyer joined the series in 2016 and is still there to this day. Between her savvy insights and natural charisma, Hostin has made many friends among both fellow hosts and the network, and she remains an absolute fan favorite.
Meghan McCain (2017–2021)
Speaking of open secrets, everyone knew that when Meghan McCain left Fox News and joined The View in 2017, her primary political qualifications began and ended with "she's the daughter of Sen. John McCain." Still, she was game to step up and be a strident political voice who often clashed with other hosts, particularly the very liberal Joy Behar.
When McCain left the show in 2021, she expressed admiration and gratitude for her co-hosts. While that sentiment is likely true for some of the ladies, she later revealed that she had a panic attack during a commercial break after a now infamous exchange on air. When McCain returned from maternity leave and joked that Behar must have missed her, the other woman said, stone-faced, "Nobody missed you, we didn't miss you, you shouldn't have come back." This was enough to prompt McCain (who was also suffering from postpartum anxiety at the time) to leave for good.
Abby Huntsman (2018–2020)
While less controversial than Meghan McCain, Abby Huntsman is another conservative voice who made the jump from Fox News to The View. She joined the show in 2018 and was generally a hit with fans and the network, but opted to leave the show in 2020 after only two years.
Officially, the main reason was to go help her father, Jon Huntsman Jr., with his campaign to be governor of Utah. She later admitted this was just a convenient excuse and that she was already planning to exit because the job was a major damper on her well-being and quality of life. "I don't talk much about that time, and I won't, but the decision that I made was probably the best decision I could have made for my life, for my mental health, for my happiness, for my family," she told PEOPLE in 2021.
Alyssa Farah Griffin (2022–present)
If you like your hosts to come equipped with specialized political knowledge, then Alyssa Farah Griffin may be one of your favorite voices. Previously, she was the White House Director of Strategic Communications in the Trump administration, and she uses that valuable experience to comment on Hot Topics like the former president's legal woes and more. After frequently serving as a guest on The View, she was made a permanent host in August 2022, stepping in along with Ana Navarro following fellow conservative Meghan McCain's departure.
Ana Navarro (2022–present)
Ana Navarro became a full-time host on The View in 2022, and she was an instant hit with fans. Of course, longtime viewers already knew her well: After first contributing to the show in 2013, Navarro spent years as a guest co-host. Since she's a well-respected Republican political insider and veteran journalist who formerly worked for CNN, Navarro is able to bring many unique insights to The View (and chaotic content in the off-season).
Some left on good terms, but many were touched by some form of controversy or conflict.