No surprise. He’s been the guest host for ages and there’s no other obvious choice in-house to handle hard news. The only realistic alternative was Chris Wallace, but he’s already got a prestige gig interviewing big shots on Sunday morning. Why trade that for Teleprompter drudgery five nights a week? Besides, the Foxies have their hands full right now rolling out Glenn Beck at 5 p.m. and working out the kinks, of which there are sure to be many, in Hannity’s new gig at 9 p.m. Baier means a fluid, hassle-free transition.
Maybe too fluid, though? The “Special Report” panel could stand some new blood, a point I made a few weeks ago vis-a-vis KP but which would apply as well to, say, Mary Katharine Ham. It’s not a matter of moving anyone out, just rotating different (read: younger) people in. Under Brit they reserved those spots for experienced journalists, but no one’s asking for the body-language expert here; thoughtfulness and civility suited to the decorum of the panel should suffice. If Baier wants to put his stamp on the show without messing too much with the format, he should start there.
Exit reminder: Brit’s last show as anchor starts in 15 minutes on the east coast. You’ll miss him, won’t you?