Sam Donaldson: “What Are These Young Kids Like Brit Hume Stepping Down For?”

By SteveK 

As FNC anchor Brit Hume approaches his impending retirement, one of his former colleagues is hoping he reconsiders. “What are these young kids like Brit Hume stepping down for?” asks ABC’s Sam Donaldson in a Hume profile by Politico’s Michael Calderone. “I think Brit’s at the height of his power.”

He also made a pitch to bring Hume to ABC, saying if he were president of the network, he’d tell Hume, “I understand that you want to step down and all of this. Could we talk about your future?”

Also in the piece, one of the longtime panelists of Hume’s show “Special Report,” Juan Williams, describes the anchor. “That guy brings out the best in my game,” Williams said. “If you’re debating Brit Hume, you better know what you’re talking about. He can be sharp, even arrogant, and angry. If you don’t have your feet on the ground, you’re going to get your ass handed to you.”

While Hume exits FNC full-time after the election, some have questioned whether the election will affect FNC’s dominance in the ratings. The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron talks to VP of news editorial Jay Wallace and Bill Hemmer about the issue.

Wallace described FNC’s “water-shed moments”-driven ratings. “The first was Clinton-Lewinsky in 1998, then Bush-Gore in 2000. After that, 9/11 was the moment when you could see that viewership was changing away from CNN being the only kid on the block. Then came the Iraq War and then Hurricane Katrina, and now we seem to be, with this current news cycle of politics and the economy, in another one of those moments that will be part of what defines us as a channel,” he said.

Also giving his take is frequent cable news guest talking TV, Robert Thompson. “CNN gets big spikes (for major stories), but Fox has managed to gather a core audience that will still watch them even when there’s no breaking news and Hannity and Colmes or Bill O’Reilly are reporting on firemen rescuing cats and giving presents to the liberal cats before they rescue the conservative cats,” says Thompson.