Breaking: Fox News will name Bret Baier as the new anchor of “Special Report,” TVNewser has learned.
Baier becomes anchor of the show after the New Year. He had been Brit Hume’s primary fill-in. Hume’s final “Special Report” airs tonight at 6pmET.
Baier is currently chief White House correspondent for Fox News. Prior to that post, Baier was FNC’s Pentagon correspondent.
Chris Wallace and Jim Angle will be filling in on “Special Report” until January 5 when Baier takes over.
> Update: The FNC press release is after the jump. Says FNC Chairman Roger Ailes: “Bret Baier has the combination of both hard news reporting and anchoring skills that will serve him well in this new position. His ten years of experience with FNC will enable him to uphold the same impeccable standard Brit Hume set for Special Report.”
BRET BAIER NAMED ANCHOR OF SPECIAL REPORT
Bret Baier has been named primary anchor of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Special Report, effective January 5th, announced Roger Ailes, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer. Baier will take over duties from Brit Hume, who announced he was stepping down from his daily anchoring role earlier this year and whose last program will be this evening. Hume will continue to appear on Special Report in his new capacity as a senior political analyst while occasionally anchoring major news events and contributing to the Fox News Sunday panel. The new title of the program will be Special Report with Bret Baier.
In making the announcement, Ailes said, “Bret Baier has the combination of both hard news reporting and anchoring skills that will serve him well in this new position. His ten years of experience with FNC will enable him to uphold the same impeccable standard Brit Hume set for Special Report.”
In addition to substitute hosting Special Report and anchoring special programs throughout the election season as well as numerous documentaries, Baier currently serves as FNC’s chief White House correspondent, reporting on presidential activities on a national and international scale. A decision has not been named for Baierâ€™s replacement in this position.
Hume added, “Bret Baier is a reporter and anchor of rare talent, ideal temperament and absolute integrity.
Baier commented, “No one can truly replace a legendary journalist like Brit Hume, but I’m honored to be asked to anchor Special Report. I plan on continuing to maintain the prestige of the program in every way I know how.”
Prior to his role as chief White House correspondent, Baier served as national security correspondent based at the Pentagon covering military and domestic security affairs, as well as defense, military policy, and the intelligence community. Throughout his tenure with FNC, he has secured numerous exclusive interviews with government officials, including President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace and Richard Myers. He has also reported from Iraq 13 times, where he most recently interviewed General Petraeus on his last battlefield tour, in addition to reporting from Afghanistan 11 times which included a stint embedded with U.S. troops along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
Baier also covered the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and then followed the evolution of the attacks into the War on Terror. Previously, he covered the U.S. military mission in Haiti, the 1999 conflict in Kosovo and the 2000 election recount in Florida. Joining FNC in 1998 as the networkâ€™s first southeast correspondent in its Atlanta bureau, Baier covered stories ranging from the 2001 Timothy McVeigh execution to the 1999 Elian Gonzalez saga. He also provided the network with a series of reports on Cuba and covered more than a dozen hurricanes, including stories filed from the centers of the storms.