Huntsman, who served as a conservative voice on the daytime talk show, made the announcement Monday to the shock of fans. Her departure, she said, comes as she readies to join her father Jon Huntsman Jr.’s campaign for Utah governor.
“Today, I’m saying goodbye,” Huntsman said, drawing audible gasps from the audience. “It’s something I thought a lot about. I was asked months ago by my dad, who’s running for governor in Utah, to come and help run the campaign.”
The Fox News alum said she was hesitant at first, but gave it more thought over the holidays ultimately accepting her father’s offer.
“When you take a step back and you think about life, you think about your kids and you think about what you want to do every day that just gets you going,” she added, “…and there’s no one I believe in more than my own dad right now to run for politics.”
While news of Huntsman’s departure has left some fans bummed, sources familiar with the matter said it couldn’t have come at a better time, as ABC execs were already considering phasing her out, according to Daily Mail.
“Abby, 33, was added to the show without chemistry-testing with the other women mainly because she had a prior relationship with [co-host] Meghan McCain and ABC was desperate to make Meghan appear more likeable,” a source told the outlet.
The source also pointed to research showing Huntsman wasn’t a favorite among viewers and many found her personality quite “stale.”
“It didn’t take execs long to realize that Abby talked a lot, but she never really said anything,” the source added. “Her points and opinions never really landed with the audience because it often lacked substance.”
Now, execs are reportedly looking to Friday co-host Ana Navarro to possibly take her spot — and fans seem to be on board with the idea.
“Oh, Abby Huntsman is leaving The View? Time to make Ana Navarro permanent,” tweeted Nigerian TV personality Ebuka Obi-Uchendu.
“Good riddance, sis,” another chimed in. “We need Ana Navarro to take that seat permanently.”
One viewer tagged “The View” directly, writing: “Please please please add Ana Navarro full time to the table!!!” Meanwhile, others begged Huntsman to take best friend and fellow conservative co-host “nutmeg,” aka Meghan McCain, with her as she exited stage left.
“Bring on Ana Navarro!” they added.
According to CNN, Huntsman’s exit also comes amid complaints of a toxic work culture, including a soured relationship with longtime friend McCain.
“Huntsman and McCain, both of whom hail [from] famed Republican families, were allies behind the scenes until recently, when there was a dispute between the two women,” the outlet reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the so-called “baby fight.”
McCain, who’s been open about her recent miscarriage and fertility issues, was reportedly upset by Huntsman’s child-centric chats on the show and confronted the mother of three about it.
The pair since have patched things up, but sources said the fight with McCain “was just one factor in Huntsman’s feeling that she should leave.”
The former co-host is expected to join her father’s campaign later this month, where she’ll serve as a senior adviser. Her last day is Friday.
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