Fox News on Sunday that it was replacing afternoon news anchor Shepard Smith with “America’s Newsroom” co-anchor Bill Hemmer, who is known for his easygoing personality and non-partisan reporting.
Fox News President and Executive Editor Jay Wallace made the announcement in a press release on Monday, stating that Hemmer’s new show, which will start on January 20, will be called “Bill Hemmer Reports.”
“Bill is an incredible newsman and his ability to cut to the heart of the story while humanizing major events has made him a standout talent in news. As we start gearing up for the 2020 election, we are thrilled to have him lead our news division through what will sure to be an eventful year,” Wallace said.
Hemmer responded to the announcement by saying, “As a journalist, l am extremely grateful for this opportunity. 2020 will undoubtedly be a year of great significance. Leading our breaking news division with a signature hour has enormous value to me, personally, and to our audience. We’ve got a fantastic team here and I am excited to get to work.”
Smith announced that he was leaving the network, effectively immediately, on October 11, stating: “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged. Under our agreement, I won’t be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future. … This is my last newscast here.”
Fox News says that Hemmer’s new program “will utilize state-of-the-art newsgathering technology along with the network’s leading correspondents to provide a comprehensive look at developing stories around the world. Hemmer will also lead a dedicated team of producers and information specialists who are prepared to interrupt regular programming with breaking news at a moment’s notice.”
Hemmer has been in his current role as co-anchor of “America’s Newsroom” since 2009, when the show was created, and has been with Fox News since 2005.
“In this capacity, he has interviewed numerous foreign dignitaries, leading politicians and newsmakers as well as anchored the network’s pre-noon breaking news coverage,” Fox News said in a statement. “The show has been number one in cable news since its inception, occasionally outpacing its broadcast news competition as well.”
Fox News also highlighted Hemmer’s background before joining the network: ”
Prior to joining FNC, Hemmer served as co-anchor of CNN’s American Morning and anchor of both CNN Live Today and CNN Tonight. A recipient of several awards and honors, including an Emmy Award in 1996, Hemmer began his career as a weekend sports anchor for WCPO-TV (CBS) in Cincinnati, Ohio. He earned a B.A. in broadcast journalism from Miami University in Ohio.”
Fox News anchor Bret Baier responded to the news by writing on Twitter: “Congrats to my friend and colleague @BillHemmer — very well deserved.”
Senior Meteorologist Fox News Janice Dean wrote: “I adore @BillHemmer , as does everyone else in the building. No one deserves this more.”
NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck wrote: “Tremendous to hear Fox News has announced that longtime anchor and @AmericaNewsroom co-host @BillHemmer will take over the 3:00 p.m. Eastern slot on FNC previously held by Shep Smith. Bill is another one of their fair and great journalists.”