Her departure will come at the close of the current season, which wraps at the end of July.
McCain made the announcement at the top of today’s show. (Watch it above.) She cited her 9-month-old baby and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which prompted her to leave New York City for Washington, D.C., as the main reasons she opted to leave.
“This was not an easy decision,” she said. “It took a lot of thought and counsel and prayer and talking to my family and close friends.”
Covid-19, she continued, “has changed the world for all of us. It’s changed the way I’m looking at my life, the way I’m living my life, the way I want my life to look like.”
Living full-time in Washington offered more benefits than returning to New York, where the show is based, she said. While remote broadcasts were part and parcel with Covid-19, TV shows across the dial have been returning to live, in-person set-ups with audiences.
McCain thanked Abby Huntsman, who had a brief tenure as View co-host, as well as the show’s executive producer, Brian Teta, and ABC News President Kim Godwin.
After McCain expressed gratitude and affection for her co-hosts, they returned the favor.
Whoopi Goldberg’s presence on the show was mentioned by McCain as one of the reasons her late father, Sen. John McCain, encouraged her to take the offer to co-host. “Your dad was very smart,” Goldberg said. “He felt we could toughen you up” before motherhood and other challenges.
Joy Behar saluted McCain as a “formidable opponent,” adding, “You’re no snowflake, missy!”
Today’s lovefest was not the usual tenor of the show, which has often been marked by dramatic skirmishes between McCain, whose politics lean right, and several of her fellow co-hosts.
Acknowledging the friction, McCain said, “I’m still here for another month, so if you guys want to fight a little bit more, we’ve got four more weeks.”
McCain is the show’s second longest running conservative co-host on the show behind Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who appeared on The View from 2003 to 2013.
In a statement, ABC News said the company respected and understood her choice to exit. “We wish the best for Meghan as she plans her next chapter, and thank her for the passion and unique voice that she shared with us and our viewers each day,” the statement said.
As the opening segment wrapped, McCain closed by accusing the media of sexism in its coverage of the show. “If five men were doing what we’re doing every day, we’d probably have a Pulitzer Prize by now,” she said.