After 10 years as the lone conservative voice on ABC's The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck heads to the curvy couch of Fox & Friends on Monday, Sept. 16 (6 a.m./5c, Fox News Channel). Ideologically, the 36-year-old cohost should be more at home with her new TV family of Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade. But will we again see the fiery passion that made for must-watch moments on Barbara Walters' coffee klatch? We asked Hasselbeck as she prepared for her new morning gig.
TV Guide Magazine: Even viewers who didn't agree with you politically liked your feistiness on The View. How are we going to get that spark out of you when you're sitting with a couple of like-minded co-hosts?
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: There is understandably the big misconception that controversy is what people enjoyed about [The View]. But there are numbers and focus groups and viewers who say they enjoyed the conversation. I'm a person who believes that if you are who you say who you are, it doesn't matter where you are or you're with — you can be full of spark. I have incredible co-hosts who have already been doing a phenomenal job. It's the least of my concerns.
TV Guide Magazine: The Daily Show picks on Fox & Friends a lot and there's a pretty rough parody of it on Saturday Night Live. Are you ready for that?
Hasselbeck: It's never easy being No. 1 [among cable news morning shows] as Fox & Friends and has been for a long time. So there will be people in jest with satirical comments or with bad intent looking to chomp at the heels of the frontrunner. You can spend your time focused on that or just working hard with good attitude and ethic. The latter has been the rule for me.
TV Guide Magazine: Have you seen the SNL bit?
Hasselbeck: No I haven't. I think I would get a kick out of it. That's just what they do so I don't think that bothers anybody.
TV Guide Magazine: Your kids have grown up watching you on TV. Did they ever ask, "Mommy, why are those ladies yelling at you?"
Hasselbeck: It's not anything of interest to them. The biggest controversy they care about is who gets the cookie with the most chocolate chips. We are mindful of what the kids watch. The great thing about Fox & Friends is that we've been able to watch it as a family. You don't have to press the mute button when the content is coming across. There are many times that the content on The View was not appropriate for my children.
TV Guide Magazine: You mentioned focus groups earlier. We heard one reason changes happened at The View were related to research that showed the political discussions became a bit predictable. You knew which side everybody was going to come out on. Were you feeling that at all?
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: I really have no comment. There's a lot of misinformation out there so there will be a ton of reasons why or why not, or did she or didn't she, and that's all rear view mirror. I'm thrilled to be a part of Fox News.
TV Guide Magazine: You interviewed President Obama four times on The View. Is there any chance he'd come on Fox & Friends?
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: I believe anything is possible. I have real relationships with people in the White House right now. I talk on the phone with Vice President Joe Biden. When you're face to face with them, you're looking at another mom, another dad or another person with a story. Labels are created by people who aren't involved in the actual relationships.
TV Guide Magazine: Did you get any advice from Barbara Walters or anyone else at The View on your last day there?
Elisabeth Hasselbeck: I don't recall anything that day. But there was a decade of learned experience that preceded that day. The best advice I got came from my husband [former NFL quarterback Tim Hasselbeck, now an ESPN analyst] who said, "Say what's in your heart. I'll be waiting in the car. Let's go!"