ABC Looking for a 'Conservative Latina' to Replace Joy Behar on The View

By Sara Nathan, The Daily Mail

ABC bosses plan to shake up The View and are searching for a 'Conservative Latina' to join Barbara Walters as a co-host.

With Joy Behar leaving the daily show in August, TV chiefs are looking for feisty woman whose views are similar to co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

As of a 2010 census, 50,500,000 Hispanics live in America and ABC are keen to woo more Latina viewers.

Elizabeth, 35, joined The View in 2003 after a number of women were trialled to replace Lisa Ling, including Rachel Campos-Duffy, a passionate Republican.

Mother-of-six Rachel, 41, a strict Catholic, is married to Sean Duffy, a Republican member of congress - and also a Real World alum.

Having found fame originally on MTV's Real World: San Francisco, Rachel had also originally tried out for Lisa Ling's spot in 1999.

Other names in the frame could include singer Jaci Velasquez, 33, a married mother-of-two, who co-hosts her own radio show - while other prominent stars include Cuban Gloria Estefan and Raquel Welch, whose father was Bolivian. 

Raquel, 72, has told how her looks had hindered her making her political points and spoke out last February about the GOP race, telling Fox News: 'I think too many times a total stranger without any background or anything that we can really hang our hat on comes along with charm, and a silver tongued devil thing and seems very self possessed. And it’s almost like he should be you know a talk show host or a movie star.'

A source told MailOnline: 'Of course, we want someone outspoken and passionate, just like the other women on the show.

'We have a few months until Joy leaves and whoever joins has to add something new and fresh to the show. They have to fit in, but also be prepared to be combative.'

An ABC spokeswoman said: 'At this time we have no comment.'

On Monday, View star and executive producer Barbara Walters rejected claims that she would be leaving the show - and that Elizabeth Hasselbeck had been fired for being 'too conservative.'

'Right now the only person who cannot leave this show is me,' Walters said, following a story that appeared in the New York Daily News claiming that she might step down from her role as executive producer and co-host.

Barbara, 83, added that rumors of Elisabeth getting fired are 'false.'

'We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave this show,' she said. 'The truth is we love Elisabeth. I like her personally and she's just a wonderful person.'

She added: 'But beyond that, we value her point of view.'

Barbara made the remarks after one of the show's longtime co-hosts, Joy Behar, announced that she would be leaving, ignited a flurry of reports about the future of 'The View.'

'When you announced this last week,' Barbara said to Joy on Monday, 'It was very bittersweet.'

'You have your reasons for wanting to go and I'm happy when you're happy,' she said, adding that she had 'discovered' Joy.

Joy then read off a list of her top 10 reasons for leaving 'The View,' which included: 'ABC won't let me drink on the air like Hoda and Kathy Lee.'

Other reasons she gave were: 'I have a pathological fear of catching childhood diseases like mumps from Barbara;' 'The contact high from sitting next to Whoopi keeps giving me the munchies;' 'Like Barbara, I'm developing an unhealthy attraction to Elisabeth;' and 'I'll finally have a chance to fulfill my dreams going a whole week without putting on a brazier.'

Barbara didn't address new reports that she is pursuing actress Brook Shields to replace Joy.

According to an exclusive report by ShowBiz411, Barbara wants the 47-year-old actress and mother of two to join the TV panel.

The website's sources say the agreement between ABC and Shields has yet to be finalized, but is very close to being signed. 

And an ABC source told MailOnline: 'Brooke has hosted three times recently and of course this means her name is put out there.'

Barbara Walters reportedly believes that the Princeton-educated, articulate Brooke Shields would be a perfect fit, and her extensive Hollywood connections would be invaluable to booking guests.

Mother-of-two Brooke has not publicly commented on the rumors of her joining the program. 

Joy, 70, will be bidding farewell to The View in August at the end of the current season after nearly 17 years as a co-host.

‘It seemed like the right time,’ Joy told Deadline. ‘You reach a point when you say to yourself, “Do I want to keep doing this?” There are other things on my plate I want to do — I’ve been writing a play, I’ve been neglecting my stand-up.’

In a statement to Deadline, ABC said:, ‘Joy Behar has been instrumental in the success of The View from the very beginning. We wish her all the best in this next chapter, and are thrilled that we have her for the remainder of the season.’

After it was announced that Behar will be leaving, Twitter lit up with well-wishers offering the veteran TV presenter their support.

In response, Joy tweeted on Friday: 'Thanks so much for all your very kind words.' 

Barbara Walters addressed Elisabeth Hasselbeck's future at the show after it was reported last week that the 35-year-old's contract would not be renewed because she was too right-wing for the show's viewership.

Elisabeth has been a controversial figure on the show, famously sparring with former co-host Rosie O'Donnell, a liberal, over the war in Afghanistan in 2007 and with Walters over GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney during the 2012 campaign.

But Barbara said on Monday that her point of view was a valued part of the show. 

The View has had the same cast since 2007, when Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd arrived to replace O'Donnell and Star Jones.