Come Monday morning, Columbia-native journalist Ainsley Earhardt will officially replace Elisabeth Hasselbeck as the new co-host of “Fox & Friends” (6 a.m. EST). But before Earnhardt appears alongside Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade on the “curvy couch”, she spoke to us about her the new position, advice she received from Hasselbeck and what she misses most about living in the South.
Are you nervous about your first broadcast on Monday? Feeling any pressure?
“I want to give it my best, and I want everyone to be happy with me. It’s great for everyone to see Roger Ailes (Chairman and CEO of Fox News and the Fox Television Stations Group) put someone in the position that worked their way up at Fox. Roger could have chosen anyone. He selected me, and I don’t want to disappoint him or our viewers.
What changes/energy can “Fox & Friends” fans expect from you on the curvy couch?
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I hope that the viewer will watch and know they are going to get a fair and balanced view of the news from me. Everyone in that position has brought different aspects and personalities. I’m bringing all of my training and journalistic background. We are brainstorming different ideas for us to try and do as a group. The focus is to have a lot of fun and give the audience what they want.
What can you tell us about the dynamic between yourself, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade? What are they like?
We’ve been friends for a very long time, and I know we will have instant chemistry, because we already do. They are amazing men and have been very supportive of me over the last nine years. I think we are all excited to be in this together as a team.
Are you looking forward to reporting on anything in particular?
The top story is already written for us: the presidential election. We are very prepared, and we plan to interview all of the candidates and give our viewers the latest and newest news every morning. I am looking forward to interviewing the next sitting president and watching how the election unfolds.
What advice did Elisabeth Hasselbeck give you?
Elisabeth said she is pulling for me, loves me and is looking forward to seeing me have success at “Fox & Friends.” She also told me that she read a devotion on the way to work every day to put her mind at ease before the workday.
What advice do you have for young women following the same career path?
Believe in yourself, work very hard and say yes to everything. That was the work ethic instilled by my parents and the people that supported me in Columbia. I started as an overnight cut-in anchor. It’s the job no one wants to do, but I knew it was a way to get my foot in the door at the national level.
As a Carolina girl, what are a few things you miss most about living in Columbia, or the South in general?
The BBQ up here just isn’t the same. But I have found a place with good sweet tea, and we finally got a Chick-fil-A!
Any last comments you’d like to leave with our readers?
I would like to thank the people of Columbia. They helped me get here and believed in me. They saw me from the beginning, and I hope they watch on Monday.