Abby Huntsman to leave ‘The View’ to help steer her father’s gubernatorial campaign

After a year and a half at the Hot Topics table, Abby Huntsman is leaving her seat as a co-host on “The View.”

Huntsman is set to announce her departure on today’s episode of the ABC daytime mainstay. ABC News confirmed she will exiting “The View” to help work with her father, Jon Huntsman, as he runs for governor in Utah. She has yet to set the date of her final appearance on the series.

“We thank Abby for her unique, intelligent, insightful and relatable voice that she brought to the show both in front of and behind the camera,” “View” exec producers Hilary Estey McLoughlin, Candi Carter and Brian Teta said in a note to show staffers. “We will truly miss her and her great spirit professionally and personally.”

Huntsman joined the show in September 2018, she came on board as a second conservative voice — in addition to Meghan McCain — the first time the talk show created by Barbara Walters in 1997 featured two Republican women. Huntsman had previously worked as a host on Fox News, but she gave an interview explaining that she didn’t necessarily like to be identified as a conservative.

“Many of my generation don’t want to be labelled one thing or another,” Huntsman told the Deseret News. “With politics for example, we’re at a time when both parties are at such an extreme. A lot of us are in that middle area, and that’s where I sit.”

28 PHOTOS
Abby Huntsman out and about
See Gallery
Abby Huntsman out and about
THE VIEW - Senator Bernie Sanders is the guest today Monday, November 26, 2018. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua) JOY BEHAR, ABBY HUNTSMAN, SEAN HAYES
THE VIEW - Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is the guest today, Monday, 11/12/18. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) ABBY HUNTSMAN, JOY BEHAR
THE VIEW - Illeana Douglas is the guest, Tuesday, 10/2/18 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images) ABBY HUNTSMAN
THE VIEW - 'The View' welcomes Pete Souza and Charlotte Pence on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) ABBY HUNTSMAN
THE VIEW - Planned Parenthood's new president, Dr. Leana Wen, joins the co-hosts LIVE for her first interview since the announcement of her new role today, Thursday, September 13, 2018 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABc via Getty Images) ABBY HUNTSMAN
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 29: Abby Huntsman attends the 2018 Global Citizen Festival: Be The Generation in Central Park on September 29, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen)
THE VIEW - Stormy Daniels is joined by her attorney, Michael Avenatti today, Wednesday, September 12, 2018 on ABC's 'The View.' 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) ABBY HUNTSMAN
THE VIEW - George Papadopoulos joins the Hot Topics table on The View, Tuesday 9/11. The former Trump campaign adviser was sentenced today to 14 days in jail for lying to the FBI during the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He will be joined in studio by his wife Simona. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) ABBY HUNTSMAN
THE VIEW - (9/4/18) Season 22 of 'The View' premieres with new co-host Abby Huntsman and guest Justice Sonia Sotomayor. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty images) ABBY HUNTSMAN
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 15: Abby Huntsman attends Vivienne Tam FW2017 Runway Show show at Gallery 1, Skylight Clarkson Sq during New York Fashion Week: The Shows on February 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Vivienne Tam)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 11: Journalist Abby Huntsman attends a luncheon hosted by Glamour and Facebook to discuss the 2016 election at Samsung 837 in NYC on July 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Glamour)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 05: Abby Huntsman attends a special edition of SiriusXM's No Labels Radio, airing on SiriusXM POTUS at SiriusXM Studios on May 5, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 24: Mary Anne Huntsman and Abby Huntsman attend Time and People's annual cocktail party on White House Correspondents' Weekend at St Regis Hotel on April 24, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Time and People)
Ari Melber and Abby Huntsman attend the 'Bloomberg Businessweek's 85th Anniversary Celebration' at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. ?? LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: Abby Huntsman and Husband Jeffrey Livingston arrive at the Gridiron Club Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. on March 14, 2015. The annual dinner is a massive white-tie gathering of media and political elite. (Erin Schaff/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
THE VIEW - Abby Huntsman is the guest host on 'THE VIEW,' airing Wednesday, July 2, 2014 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Jeff Neria/ABC via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Mario Lopez (R) interviews Abby Hunstman during her visit to 'Extra' at their New York studios at H&M in Times Square on April 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 23: Abby Huntsman visits 'Extra' at their New York studios at H&M in Times Square on April 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Extra)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 23: (L-R) Toure, Krystal Ball, Jon Huntsman Jr. and Abby Hunstman attend at Carnegie Hall on January 23, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: Abby Huntsman appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Abby Huntsman appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Donny Deutsch and Abby Huntsman appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Abby Huntsman appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: Abby Huntsman visits at SiriusXM Studios on March 14, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 28: Abby Huntsman Livingston speaks at Women In Politics Panel With Chelsea Clinton hosted by Glamour magazine at 92nd Street Y on March 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Glamour)
NEW YORK - MARCH 28: (L-R) Editor-in-chief of Glamour Cindi Leive, Abby Huntsman Livingston and Nicole Wallace attend Women In Politics Panel With Chelsea Clinton hosted by Glamour magazine at 92nd Street Y on March 28, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Glamour)
EXETER, NH - JANUARY 09: Daughters of Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, (L-R) Mary Anne, Abby and Liddy, pose for photographers after a 'Restoring Trust Rally' January 9, 2012 in Exeter, New Hampshire. With the New Hampshire primary only one day away, the candidate continued to campaign in the Granite State. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 21: (L-R) Mary Kaye Huntsman, 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate Jon Huntsman, and Abby Huntsman enter the 'Late Show With David Letterman' taping at the Ed Sullivan Theater on December 21, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The other co-hosts of the “The View” are Whoopi Goldberg, who moderates the show, Joy Behar, McCain and Sunny Hostin.

“You’re some of the most talented, hard-working and genuine people I’ve ever worked with,” Huntsman said in a note to “View” staffers. “The staff is the engine of the show and you never get enough credit for what you do.”

It’s understood that Huntsman made the decision to join her father’s campaign over the December holidays. Jon Huntsman is a former Republican governor of Utah who also ran for president in 2012. President Donald Trump named Jon Huntsman the U.S. ambassador to Russia in 2017. He resigned that post in October, one month before he launched his gubernatorial bid.

“When your father asks you to help run your campaign, it’s a hard one to say no to,” McLoughlin, Carter and Teta noted.

“The View,” now in its 23rd season, has seen its ratings spike as the show’s signature Hot Topics debates dissect the latest scandals from the Trump White house. In the run-up to the 2020 election, the show has landed interviews with many of the Democrats running for president including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker.

Last May, New York Times Magazine ran a cover story about “The View” that called it “the most important political show TV on America.”

According to sources, ABC will not be replacing Huntsman for now. Instead, they will be trying out a rotating panel of co-hosts for the fifth seat.

Here are the full memos sent by “View” executive producers and Huntsman on Monday:

Team,

We have some bittersweet news to share. Abby Huntsman is leaving The View to help run her father’s campaign for Governor of Utah and to spend more time with her young family. As you will see in her note below, she made the tough decision to move on over the holiday break.

From the moment Abby joined us a year and a half ago, we knew how important her big family is to her. Isabel charmed us each time she came to the show and we shared Abby’s journey as she welcomed her twins, William and Ruby. Her dedication to family is what is launching Abby’s next exciting chapter. When your father asks you to help run your campaign, it’s a hard one to say no to.

We thank Abby for her unique, intelligent, insightful and relatable voice that she brought to the show both in front of and behind the camera. We will truly miss her and her great spirit professionally and personally.

We will cheer her on as she embraces her family’s long history in public service and we’ll welcome her back to hear about her future projects.

Hilary, Candi and Brian

To the Best Team in TV,

ABC has been my family for a long time and I am so thankful to have had a seat at the table on an iconic show like The View. After much deliberation over the holidays, I have decided to leave the show to dedicate myself full-time in support of my dad and his campaign for Governor of Utah.

You know I think the world of all of you. You’re some of the most talented, hard-working and genuine people I’ve ever worked with. The staff is the engine of the show and you never get enough credit for what you do. I applaud you and thank you for welcoming me to the family on day-one. You always made me look much better than I ever could have on my own. Thank you for believing in me and for all the laughs along the way.

ABC will always hold a special place in my heart, and so will all of you.

I hope you will be in my life for years to come.

Abby

Subscribe to Variety Newsletters and Email Alerts!

Read Full Story