Bill Hemmer on Replacing Shepard Smith: Change Can Be a ‘Scramble,’ But ‘Professionalism’ Won

Fox News anchor takes over Smith’s 3 p.m. time slot Monday and tells TheWrap much of Smith’s team is still working on the new show

Last Updated: January 20, 2020 @ 1:53 PM

Bill Hemmer takes over for Shep Smith’s old 3 p.m. ET time slot Monday, three months after Smith abruptly left Fox News. Hemmer told TheWrap change can cause people to “scramble,” but the new show, “Bill Hemmer Reports,” is a testament to the “professionalism” of his new team.

“When you make changes in this industry, they happen overnight,” the 14-year Fox News veteran said, referencing Smith’s departure, which came as a shock to viewers and colleagues when it was announced at the end of an otherwise-normal afternoon broadcast. “And then people scramble. This has been different, you know? It’s a real compliment to the level of professionalism and the … colleagues that work here that we’ve been able to make the transition go as smoothly as it appears to be.”

Scrambles and shakeups can be shocking for anyone. Even Sean Hannity reacted publicly to Smith’s departure. But not everyone involved is a big name in front of the camera. What of those who worked behind the scenes on Smith’s show?

“Quite a bit” of the team remained, Hemmer said: “The staff we have is pretty much still in place. A lot of them, yes, will be part of the new program.”

Hemmer, who was one of the anchors chosen to fill in during the 3 p.m. slot while the network decided on a permanent replacement, said he’s “excited for the new chapter” and thinks “it’s time to do something new and different.”

“The flow of the day, I’m not entirely sure how that winds its way out,” he admitted, noting he has always anchored mornings, not afternoons. “I’ll figure it out over the coming days and weeks, but I’m not exactly sure because I’ve been doing the morning for so long, so I think it’s a fair question to point out. But here’s what I will say: If you’re not waking up in the morning still following every nuance of the story, you’re going to miss something.”

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