It’s Official: Whoopi Goldberg Joins ‘The View’

It’s official. Whoopi Goldberg has been named the newest co-host on “The View.”

Barbara Walters made the announcement just before 11:50 AM Eastern, Wednesday morning.

“Today is the day we have been waiting for,” Walters began. “She is brilliant, she is funny, she is an enormous talent, she is an Oscar winning actress?please join us in welcoming Whoopi Goldberg,” Walters said as Whoopi made her way on to the panel, dressed in a pink, button-down shirt.

“I am in the moderator chair,” Whoopi said as the audience erupted in cheers.

The comedian/actress and now “View” moderator said fans should not expect her to change her casual style, just because she’ll be on TV daily.

“You [ladies] look terrific all the time, but I know you wouldn’t want me to pretend to be anything but me,”Whoopi said, pointing out she was wearing sneakers.

Goldberg said it was hard to keep her acceptance of the job a secret. She even kept her own mother in the dark.

“People were going crazy? I had to take the phone off the hook. My mother was like ‘is it true?’ Fortunately she lives in San Francisco so she couldn’t really see I was lying through my teeth,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg confirmed she plans to bring some of her impressions and comedy to the show. She is also excited to tackle a host of issues.

“The thing I’m looking forward to the most is just the hot topics,” Goldberg said. “The thing I’m looking forward to the least is trying to get in between, all, everyone talking at one time.”

Backstage, Whoopi revealed to Access Hollywood, negotiations for her “View” slot went all the way through this past Monday. She said one of her main concerns about taking the post was about being on TV, five days a week.

“I didn’t want to bore people by being on too much,” she said. “People could get tired of seeing me, you know?”

Goldberg’s co-hosts however told Access they were thrilled over so much more Whoopi on “The View.”

“I am working with Whoopi,” Hasselbeck enthused. “This is a good day.”

“Whoopi brings us everything — intelligence, humor, talent, controversy,” Walters added.

Behar said she thinks Goldberg brings an excellent point of view to the panel because of her personality and life experiences (Whoopi is a grandmother).

“I think she has substance,” Behar said. “She is smart, she is funny, she has lived a life.”

Whoopi, who will be a regular from the day after Labor Day, was one of the first people tipped for a post made vacant by Rosie O’Donnell. Goldberg even filled in the day after O’Donnell made an early departure from “The View” over Memorial Day weekend.

Whoopi, like Rosie, is known for voicing her opinions — often with a dose of comedy. The multi-faceted celebrity has won a Grammy, Daytime Emmy, Oscar and a Tony Award. Along with her work as an actress and comedian, Whoopi has hosted a radio show for the past year.

Goldberghas served as a recurring guest-host on “The View” in the past, and has reportedly garnered praise from “View” hosts Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Rosie herself.

In a May 31st posting on her official Web site, Rosie wrote “love whoopi” in response to a fan’s question about her opinion on a replacement host.

Earlier this summer, Walters indicated two slots were open on “The View” panel, which hosted five ladies at its fullest: Meredith Vieira, Star Jones, Walters, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Joy Behar. When today’s announcement was made however, a second co-host slot was not referenced.

Last week the Los Angeles times reported longtime guest host Sherri Shepherd was in contract negotiations alongside Whoopi, but no mention was made of the position or the funny lady during the announcement.

In Touch Weekly reports that Shepherd was left off of today’s announcement because of contract negotiations with ABC. “They just couldn’t work out the money part of it,” a source told the magazine. “They weren’t willing to pay Sherri what she was asking for.”

ITW reports Shepherd was looking for $2 million, which is the amount insiders tell the magazine Whoopi is receiving for her first year on the panel.

It remains unclear if Shepherd is still in the running for the job. While ITW suggests discussions with Shepherd have not ended, they claim former CNN anchor Jacque Reid is now back in talks with ABC for the fifth “View” seat.

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