After nearly 10 years as a co-host of "The View," Elisabeth Hasselbeck said goodbye to the ABC talk show this morning. She will be joining "Fox & Friends" in the fall.
"The past 10 years have been nothing short of extraordinary," Hasselbeck, 36, said at the start of the show. "I wish the next person or co-host that sits here an extraordinary set of years to come of their own. Let's get to work."
Hasselbeck joined the show in 2003, just after competing on "Survivor." Since then, she has welcomed three children and seen many changes to the show. But through it all, she said, she has counted on the support of an efficient production team and, of course, her co-hosts.
"It is undeniable that you are one of the most talented artists on the planet," she told Whoopi Goldberg. "[But] you are even more loving than you are talented. You are walking unconditional love … and I am blessed to call myself a friend of yours."
Turning to Joy Behar, with whom she often sparred during political debates, Hasselbeck said, "I have the most, I mean, insane amount of respect for you … [and love your] ability to throw a one-liner and make me laugh even when I don't want to."
While Sherri Shepherd was not on the show today, Hasselbeck explained that the two spoke by phone Tuesday night. "Sherri Shepherd, your protest of absence is not working," she said, smiling and speaking directly into the camera. "Even when you're not right beside me I know you're always with me. You are my sister in Christ, my friend for life."
But Hasselbeck reserved her longest goodbye for her "leader and mentor" Barbara Walters, whom she called "the best in the business."
"Barbara, I did some math last night and I believe I've had over 3,000 days working by your side, and I think it's fair to say that over the course of a decade I feel as though I have attended the Barbara Walters School of Broadcasting and Journalism," she said.
"I don't know if there's a program out there that could offer the depth of knowledge, technique and the art of interview that you have offered. … I feel more than prepared at this point because of all you've given me, more than prepared and confident to move forward."
Walters, who became teary, praised Hasselbeck and wished her well.
"I have enormous affection for you," she told Hasselbeck. "You're going to leave a big void at this table. … Come back to us."