Fox News Signs Bill Hemmer to Long-Term Deal

By Alex Weprin Comment

Hemmer071210.jpg The Washington Post‘s Howard Kurtz profiles Fox News Channel anchor Bill Hemmer, and buries this little nugget in the eighth paragraph:

To Hemmer, who recently signed a multi-year, multimillion-dollar contract that has not yet been announced, the secret of the morning show’s success is the pacing.

In the article, Kurtz also notes that for all but one day from June 1 through July 2, the first guest on Hemmer’s show has been a conservative or Republican.

Conservative commentators, such as John Fund and Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal and Byron York and Chris Stirewalt of the Washington Examiner, appeared by themselves. Arizona state Sen. Russell Pearce, a Republican who is a leading opponent of illegal immigration, was on three times. By contrast, a relative handful of Democratic lawmakers were given solo spots, while Democratic strategists were generally paired in debates with Republican counterparts.

“If the booking leans one way, it’s the responsibility and duty of me as the host, the presenter, the interviewer, to make sure the topic is evenly treated,” Hemmer says

Hemmer also discusses his departure from CNN:

Hemmer is diplomatic in describing his departure from CNN, where he was co-anchoring “American Morning” with Soledad O’Brien. “I think they saw a better opportunity for me in Washington,” he says, but “I loved New York City.” It’s true that CNN executives offered Hemmer a White House correspondent’s job, but that was after they decided to remove him from the morning show. Two months later, he signed with the competition. “What struck me about Fox from afar is they seemed to have such energy and vibrance that others had lacked,” Hemmer says.

Hemmer says his staff is smaller than at CNN, with a dozen people helping him and MacCallum get on the air. The program dominates its time period, averaging 1.3 million viewers this year, more than the combined audience for CNN, MSNBC and HLN.

Earlier: Media Beat: How Bill Hemmer’s ‘Brilliant Idea’ Got Him His Big Break