When Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt makes her debut next week as co-host of the network’s top-rated morning show, Fox & Friends, her parents won’t be watching from home in South Carolina–they hope to be right there in the studio with their daughter.
“They’re just amazing people,” Earhardt said in an interview with TVNewser. “They’ve worked so hard to give me so much.”
Earhardt describes her mother as a “news junkie,” and says her father, who paid his own way through school, made a vow to pay for college for each of his three children. Earhardt says watching her father struggle to make that happen taught her a lesson about hard work she hopes to pass on to her daughter Hayden, who was born in November.
Earhardt’s maternity leave technically ends when she takes her place on the curvy couch Monday–though she’s been back at work this week preparing for her first week on F&F–and it was during her leave that Fox News chairman Roger Ailes called her in and gave her the job.
“Who comes back from maternity leave with a promotion? I love working at Fox,” she said. “Roger has been great to me.”
“Ainsley’s relentless work ethic, congeniality and enthusiasm for connecting with our viewers and staff are extremely refreshing,” Ailes said at the time. “She’s a superb team player and an excellent on-air host–we look forward to her joining the show during such a pivotal news year.”
That work ethic, of course, she credits to her family. They supported her as she got into local news, first in Columbia, South Carolina, where she worked late nights and early mornings, and later in San Antonio, where she was an early morning anchor. The call from Fox News in 2007–offering a job doing overnight cut-ins–was a “hard sell” to her family, but she said “I knew if I got my foot in the door at Fox, I would try my hardest to climb to the top.”
Even as the established anchor of the network’s weekday early morning show Fox & Friends First, Earhardt still had the drive to impress. “I was pregnant and covering stories all over the country,” she said, describing her passion for breaking news–one she hopes to bring to her new role at Fox & Friends. “If there’s a breaking news story, I’ll go. Send me.”
When she left Roger Ailes’ office that day she learned her hard work had paid off, she hopped in a cab and called her Dad. “How many jobs did you work to put me through college,” she asked him. “Well, Ains, at one point, three jobs.”
“Well,” she told him, “I just got my dream job.”