Elizabeth Hasselbeck may have left "The View" in a swirl of rumors concerning whether she was kicked off or simply headhunted by Fox, but as she prepares to go into a new phase of her career she says that, as a fan and returning guest, she's always felt like part of the family over at "Fox & Friends".
“You have an entertainment, wake-up show that delivers important information but also meaningful conversation with content that’s able to be viewed by your entire family,” said Hasselbeck. “I am privileged to call myself a team member,” she said, “but I have felt like family there for a long time.”
Hasselbeck takes over for Gretchen Carlson, who in turn will be getting her own show on Fox, a bit later in the day than she's used to. The move has been a highly controversial one due to the speculation that Hasselbeck--whose conservative stance was never the most popular among her former co-stars on "The View"--was either fired or pushed out by the other ladies. But Fox News executive vice president for programming Bill Shine says the move came about after he ran into her agent at a launch party for Fox Sports 1 back in March.
“She’s very smart. She’s very outgoing,” said Shine. “She’s a great on-air talent, a great personality and I think that will do very well for her in the morning.”
Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that Hasselbeck won't talk about "The View" or the circumstances surrounding her departure. She is much more eager to talk about the next phase, which will begin on Monday.
“I’d almost make the analogy that it’s being called up to play for one of your favorite teams in the major leagues,” said Hasselbeck.
"The View" is undergoing more major changes; Joy Behar's departure earlier this year marked the beginning of Jenny McCarthy's new spot at the table, and it's rumored that Katie Couric may take over for Barbara Walters next year when she retires. Couric's own talk show is rumored to be sliding rapidly in ratings, something a source told the New York Daily News is due to the audience liking her better when she's on a panel.
“The feeling across the board is that Katie is rejected by audiences when she is alone, but on a panel show she’s incredible, and even not liking her can work in the show’s favor and her favor,” said the source.