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Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Fox News announced Monday that veteran anchor Bill Hemmer will take over for the network's 3pm hour beginning Jan. 20.

Why it matters: Hemmer is taking the reins after longtime Fox News anchor Shep Smith announced in October that he was stepping down from his position as anchor of "Shepard Smith Report." Smith was also Fox News' chief news anchor and managing editor of the network's breaking news unit.

Details: In a statement, Fox billed the show as a "hard news hour" and said the name of the show will be called "Bill Hemmer Reports."

  • "As a journalist, I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. 2020 will undoubtedly be a year of great significance," Hemmer said in a statement. "Leading our breaking news division with a signature hour has enormous value to me, personally, and to our audience."
  • Hemmer currently co-hosts "America's Newsroom," Fox News' three-hour morning news show. He has been with the network since 2005 and was an anchor with CNN prior to joining Fox.

The big picture: Hemmer's hiring is mostly being lauded as a well-deserved promotion, especially by colleagues at Fox News who have been congratulating him on Twitter.

Yes, but: Mediaite, which broke the story of Hemmer's promotion, noted that Hemmer may not take as much of a contrarian take towards the Trump administration as his predecessor Smith, who had a reputation for being a fair anchor and straight news reporter.

  • Smith reportedly exited the network in response to tension between the news and opinion divisions at Fox News.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 mins ago - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.

Senate confirms Antony Blinken as secretary of state

Antony Blinken. Photo: Alex Edelman/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate voted 78-22 on Tuesday to confirm Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Why it matters: Blinken, a longtime adviser to President Biden, will lead the administration's diplomatic efforts to re-engage with the world after four years of former President Trump's "America first" policy.