Before announcing that she would be exiting The View after two seasons, Abby Huntsman's future on the ABC talk show was reportedly in jeopardy. According to a source who spoke to the Daily Mail, Huntsman's exit came as ABC executives had already been considering phasing her out of the show after research found that viewers found her to be "bland" and lacking a clear point of view.
"Abby was added to the show without chemistry-testing with the other women mainly because she had a prior relationship with Meghan McCain and ABC was desperate to make Meghan appear more likable," the source told the outlet. "But it didn't take execs long to realize that Abby talked a lot, but she never really said anything. Her points and opinions never really landed with the audience because it often lacked substance."
Responding to the allegations, Barbara Fedida, ABC News SVP, Talent & Editorial Strategy & Business Affairs, told the outlet in a statement that Huntsman's "future on the show was never in jeopardy or in question."
Huntsman joined The View at the start of Season 22 in September 2018 and announced during the Monday, Jan. 13 episode that she would be exiting the show to help run her father Jon Huntsman Jr.'s campaign for governor of Utah.
"This is always such a hard thing to do," Huntsman said. "And especially this table because this is a really special table. The most iconic show I think on television and the smartest women that I've ever worked with. But today I'm saying goodbye."
Huntsman added that she "couldn't be more excited to go help someone that I love."
Although Huntsman told viewers that she had made the decision to leave in order to be the senior advisor to her father's campaign, several reports have suggested that other factors, including a "toxic work environment" and tensions with co-host Meghan McCain, played into her decision.
In her absence, network executives are reportedly hoping that Friday co-host Anna Navarro will take a more permanent role at the discussion table.0comments
"It's no secret, the audience loves Ana. Whoopi, Joy and Sunny love Ana," the Daily Mail’s source said. "The producers love Ana. Giving her more days would be a no-brainer for sure. But since ABC News has taken over The View, the right thing is rarely done anymore, which is why the turnover rate on this show post-Barbara is so high."
Huntsman's final episode of The View will air on Friday, Jan. 17.