NEW YORK – With Oprah Winfrey gone, daytime television is ready for a new monarch.

Barbara Walters and the show she invented 15 years ago, “The View,” pronounce themselves ready to step up. She may be past 80 now, but would YOU bet against her?

The show begins its new season Tuesday, with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as guest. In a muddled daytime picture, “The View” plans to compete aggressively for displaced Winfrey viewers with a more topical feel, aggressive booking of guests and a few pages ripped from Oprah’s playbook.

“Oprah was the only other show that did some of the things that we did,” said Bill Geddie, executive producer. “Quite honestly, some of the people that we might have gotten second, we’ll be getting first now.”

“The View” has just as much chance as any to become the daytime talk leader. Late afternoon, where Winfrey’s show ran across most of the country, is considered a more desired time slot than the 11 a.m. home of “The View.” But a big mixture of personalities like Dr. Phil, Ellen DeGeneres, Anderson Cooper and Dr. Oz will now be competing in the afternoon, some of them new to their time slots or new to the business, and none goes in with a huge advantage in the ratings, said Bill Carroll, an expert in the daytime market for Katz Media.

Meanwhile, “The View” is a fixture at its time of day.

“Consistency always works in your favor,” Carroll said.

Telethon’s hosts say Jerry retired

LAS VEGAS – The hosts of the 46th annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon said Sunday that Jerry Lewis retired from the organization and its yearly fundraiser — the charity’s first comments about the beloved icon’s departure since an announcement last month.

Lewis publicist Candi Cazau declined comment to The Associated Press when told of the statements that opened the telethon on Sunday.

Co-host Nigel Lythgoe said during his opening comments on the telethon that he didn’t realize Lewis, 85, was thinking about retirement during the show last year, when the comedian offered Lythgoe his seat as Lewis took a break and Lythgoe was coming on the air.

“He made such a big point about it. ‘I’ve never done this before,’ he said,” said Lythgoe, the executive producer of “American Idol.” “I didn’t realize then that he was contemplating retiring.

“And Jerry, and I know you’re watching, when you gave me that chair I know it’s possible to sit on it, but it isn’t possible, Jerry, to replace you, sir,” he said. “What you have done for this organization and its families is something close to a miracle and I know that we all want to carry on your legacy.”

The MDA announced in August that the showbiz veteran would not take part in the annual telethon and was no longer the organization’s chairman — an unceremonious end to a six-decade association that forged one of the world’s most famous annual TV moments.

Jackson will perform his 9/11 song at Concert for Hope

LOS ANGELES – Country singer Alan Jackson has been tapped to perform his post-Sept. 11 song “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)” at the Concert for Hope at the Washington National Cathedral on the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

President Barack Obama also will speak at the event, which will culminate a week of observances to commemorate the anniversary.

Jackson’s song became perhaps the most widely played of the responses from musicians to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and it will be highlighted today on an A&E Biography special, “When Pop Culture Saved America.”

Jackson had introduced the song about two months after the attacks, during the Country Music Association Awards telecast from Nashville, Tenn.