Fox News' Hemmer Touts the "Bill Board"
Bill Hemmer courtesy Fox News Channel
In 2005, Bill Hemmer became one of the biggest on-air names from CNN to jump to Fox News Channel. He's traveled the world as a correspondent for FNC, but it's taken the 2008 Presidential campaign for him to emerge as a leading anchor for the channel. Paired with up-and-comer Megyn Kelly, Hemmer is now on three hours a day with America's Newsroom
and a daily 5 pm show dedicated to political news, America's Election HQ.
He's also become a fixture during FNC's primary coverage providing analysis through a multi-touch sensing screen nicknamed "The Bill Board" (not to be confused with CNN's "Magic Wall," although it's the same technology). The Biz caught up with Hemmer after another night of electoral number-crunching. TVGuide.com: You've done a lot of reporting on big stories for Fox. But on cable news, it helps to have a destination where viewers can find you everyday. Are you finding that viewers have been rediscovering you lately?
I'm flattered that Fox chose Megyn and me to do America's Election HQ
at 5. It's a necessary part of our programming. It has helped me have a voice on what I consider to be the most important story facing our nation today. TVGuide.com: But I've got to believe you're happier.
Oh, entirely yes. TVGuide.com: As a veteran of cable news, you had a reputation as a guy who could put in long hours on the air. It doesn't seem like you had the real estate to do that at Fox until now.
When I joined Fox there was no room at the inn. We were No. 1 across the board in households and demos. There was no wiggle room. I think we've seen now that opportunity to put all the resources of Fox News Channel together and to do it in that 5 o'clock program. It's been a terrific outlet for us. TVGuide.com: You felt you had to wait your turn?
Entirely. I think everyone has to. That does not mean the next time a story breaks somewhere that I don't want to be the first one out the door. TVGuide.com: Why do you think the on-air pairing with Megyn Kelly is working?
That elusive chemistry that people try to find - over the years you figure out that's something that can never be forced. From day one, we had that together on television. She's very eager and intelligent and she picked up television very quickly. She was a lawyer four years ago in the corporate world. She has the ability to grasp a lot of information quickly and interpret it and communicate it. Cable news is a job that requires you to be nimble mentally and emotionally and she has that. TVGuide.com: You're a very seasoned guy, yet you look young. You don't look like you're sitting there with your daughter.
I take that as high praise. That's proof that it works and we've seen the ratings build. TVGuide.com: How do you like using the Bill Board?
It's a giant walking, moving, breathing iPhone. I think it's a whole new universe that television is about to explore. You can do literally anything you want with that screen so long as you program it. The creator of it, Jeff Han, told me he did not think there would be a use for it in television only because he hadn't thought about it. Some people consider it a toy or a gadget. I consider it a valuable tool in our election coverage. Meaning and context on a story is very important. Viewers want to be able to decipher these enormous numbers and for us to give context and meaning to all of that, we need a device like the Bill Board.