Dana Perino Is Making the Jump From White House Press Secretary to Anchor
Perino, who launches a new show on Monday, received a nod of approval from Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
When she became a regular co-host of the Fox News show The Five back in 2011, Dana Perino said she accomplished a childhood dream. She had always aspired to be part of a political talk show.
But, when she began filling in as an anchor on Fox's news shows — including a stint anchoring Martha MacCallum's show in August — Perino said, "I found that maybe I have some other muscles to work." She has "loved" her opportunities to anchor, and when Fox News decided to make some changes to the network's daytime lineup, giving Perino her own show was "a natural ask," she said.
When Perino's new show, The Daily Briefing With Dana Perino, debuts next Monday, she will have made her transition from former White House press secretary to cable news anchor complete. Perino was former President George W. Bush's last press secretary, and has been with Fox News since she joined as a contributor in 2009.
Perino said the network's announcement on Tuesday of a new daytime lineup was well-received, as far as she could tell, and she expressed optimism for her employer despite a tumultuous last few years.
"I would say in the last couple of years, Fox has asked a lot of its viewers," she said. "And what's amazing is despite all the changes, the viewers have stayed and the network is stronger than ever. It feels like there's a really good vibe right now."
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who now holds Perino's old job, welcomed the news of Perino getting her own show. "Very happy for Dana — she will be great," Sanders told The Hollywood Reporter. Asked if she'd ever be interested in hosting her own show once she leaves the White House, Sanders said, "I am only focused on the job I have and doing it the best I can."
Scott McClellan, Bush's second press secretary, told THR: "I think it is a good move for Fox and believe Dana will continue to do well as she hosts her own show. She has an authentic and engaging on camera presence that connects with viewers. Serving as White House press secretary prepared her well for the success she has achieved at Fox."
Asked whether she considers herself a journalist, Perino didn't have a clear answer. She will remain a panelist on The Five, a talk show, so she'll be serving in dual roles. "I'm bracing myself," she said of her new schedule.
Perino said she plans to use her show to find some new voices and perspectives. "I'm really interested in showcasing how smart they are," she said of her future guests. "I'm not really a good 'gotcha' interviewer."