Fox News has named Bill Hemmer to succeed Shepard Smith as the anchor of its afternoon program “Fox News Reporting.”
Hemmer has been with Fox News since 2005, joining from CNN, where he made his reputation covering the Gulf War. He has been co-anchor of the Fox News midmorning program “America’s Newsroom.” Hemmer will move to the 3 p.m. Eastern broadcast on Jan. 20, when the program will be renamed “Bill Hemmer Reports.”
Hemmer, 55, steps in for Smith, the longtime lead anchor of Fox News who stood out as the nonpartisan voice on the conservative channel. Smith abruptly but amicably left the network on Oct. 11. After years of peacefully coexisting with the conservative opinionated hosts on the channel, Smith had grown weary of their contradicting the facts of the investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.
Hemmer has been a steady daytime presence on Fox News, presenting stories largely without a political bent, although he does not have the high profile that Smith attained over his long run at the channel.
Hemmer has been at the helm of Fox News Channel’s morning coverage of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, where ratings have outpaced the competition, including the broadcast networks. When he moves to the afternoon, he will report from the “Fox News Deck,” the high-tech set that was designed for Smith when he anchored the program.
“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,” Jay Wallace, president and executive editor for Fox News Media, said in a statement. “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.”
Fox News will rotate co-anchors alongside Sandra Smith on “America’s Newsroom,” which airs from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, until a replacement for Hemmer is named.
Shepard Smith is still under a noncompete clause he had in his Fox News contract but is expected to reemerge on another network once that expires.