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Former CNN host making Fox debut

Tribune Media Services

The world of 24/7 cable news can be hard to leave.

Many anchors and reporters have proven it by switching networks, and Bill Hemmer now joins their ranks. The former cohost of CNN’s “American Morning” lands at Fox News Channel as anchor of the 9 a.m. weekday edition of “Fox News Live” starting today.

Until spring, Emmy-winner Hemmer was teamed weekdays with Soledad O’Brien until Miles O’Brien (no relation) became her new on-air partner in what CNN executives publicly termed a bid for enhanced “chemistry.” Although he prefers to look “forward and not backward,” the pleasantly boyish Hemmer confirms that CNN sought to keep him, offering him a reporting position in the nation’s capital.

“The White House position is one heck of a step professionally and personally, and it did not come easily for me to decide whether I was going to take that job or not ... but I love New York City, and I was not prepared to leave.”

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Fox News Channel was not the only suitor to come calling. Hemmer, 40, had been with CNN for 10 years, reporting from such international locales as Kosovo, Israel and Kuwait, and, closer to home, the 2004 Republican and Democratic national conventions.

“I had some other opportunities that I had given great thought to,” Hemmer says, “but the opportunity at Fox, once I left CNN and once it presented itself to me, I saw as enormous. Fox News Channel dominates [in cable-news ratings], and it has for several years now.

“I will say that [Fox News President] Roger Ailes was a significant part of my decision; he has a proven track record of winning, he has a vision, and he’s been successful at nearly everything he’s put his hands on. He values honesty and loyalty, and that leaves a big impression on me. His right-hand man, Bill Shine, is the same way.”

Hemmer credits Fox News Channel with being “aggressive. They want to win every day, and that appeals to me. I’ve watched their growth for nine years, and I look forward to contributing to that continued growth.”

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