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Barbara Walters to write memoirs for $5 million

The deal eclipses the $2.7 million New York City Mayor Rudy Guilaini received for his memoirs.
/ Source: Reuters

Television news trailblazer Barbara Walters has signed with Miramax Books to write her memoirs in a deal worth more than $5 million, a source close to the negotiations said Thursday.

The 72-year-old Walters, network television's first female news anchor and the celebrated interviewer of many of the world's rich, famous and powerful, will write the book herself for publication in 2007, a Miramax spokeswoman said.

The deal eclipses the reported $2.7 million advance paid by Miramax for a two-book deal with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"It's an extraordinary deal for an extraordinary book," said Walters' literary agent, Morton Janklow, who would not reveal specific terms. "It's an amazing career that she's had. It's an amazing life that she's had."

Walters has been a fixture on the TV news and talk scene for more than 40 years.

She became the first woman to anchor a network evening news broadcast when she signed with ABC News in 1976 after 15 years with NBC's Today Show, where she was a writer and then a reporter before becoming the show's first female co-host.

For 25 years she has been co-host and chief correspondent of ABC News' 20/20 magazine show, a role she will relinquish later this year.

The Walt Disney Co. owns the ABC network and Miramax Books.

The TV news doyenne had links to stars even before starting her career in front of the camera. Her father, Lew Walters, owned the Manhattan nightclub The Latin Quarter, a magnet for celebrities.

Walters is still with ABC News, producing prime-time specials, and remains executive producer and co-host of The View, ABC's daytime talk show she created in 1997.