UPDATED, 9:55 AM: Fox News Channel‘s morning show got a big fat plug on ABC this morning when outgoing The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck was allowed to announce specifics of her future plans at the top of the show. “I’m really happy and excited to confirm I will be joining the Fox & Friends team in September and I would first like to thank Mr. [Roger] Ailes, Bill Shine, and the entire Fox [News] Channel for this incredible opportunity,” Hasselbeck gushed at the top of this morning’s show, eschewing the “pursue other opportunities” shilly-shallying that usually occurs when on-air talent switches teams. The View creator/exec producer/den mother Barbara Walters even pitched in to help, telling Hasselbeck to tell Ailes she can come back to visit whenever she wants.
“I’m happy you’re going,” Walters told Hasselbeck at the start of the latter’s last day on the show this morning. “No, I’m NOT! I’m happy it’s good for you,” Walters continued, struggling to get back on script. Hasselbeck, who’d walked out onstage arm-in-arm with Babs as the studio audience gave her a standing ovation, began to praise the show’s liberals with whom she’d clashed over the years. She called Whoopi Goldberg “the most talented artist on the planet.” As for her Tormentor in Chief, Joy Behar, Hasselbeck insisted she has “an insane amount of respect” for the comic-turned-TV commentator, who is also leaving the show. Moving on, Hasselbeck named Sherri Shepard “my sister in Christ” before turning to Babs and saying how well prepared she feels to join Fox & Friends in the fall because, for the past decade on The View, “I’ve attended the Barbara Walters School of Broadcasting and Journalism.”
The previous afternoon Hasselbeck announced she was ending her decade as the lone conservative voice on The View and moving to FNC’s morning show in September. She’ll join Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade and take the place of Gretchen Carlson, who will helm an as-yet-unnamed one-hour daytime show on the cable news network.
“Today is going to be her last day over there at the Barbara Walters yakfest,” Doocy said on this morning’s F&F. “Can you imagine? She’s going to get the chance to be on a show where they let her talk,” Kilmeade marveled. Carlson, meanwhile, noted Hasselbeck lives “a hop, skip and a throw” from her house in Connecticut, and that they run into each other “at the pool.”
The previous afternoon, FNC topper Roger Ailes said, “Elisabeth’s warm and engaging personality made her a star on The View...She has proven to be an excellent conversationalist and I am certain she will make a great addition to our already successful morning franchise”.
“We have had ten wonderful years with Elisabeth and she will now be swimming in new waters,” Babs chimed in, in re former “Survivor” competitor Hasselbeck – four month after Babs used her show to denounce the “particularly false story that keeps getting picked up about Elisabeth’s alleged departure” when word of Hasselbeck’s exit first got out. “We have no plans for Elisabeth to leave the show,” former journalist Babs added, as the studio audience erupted into applause.