Elisabeth Hasselbeck is stepping down as co-host of Fox News Channel's morning program "Fox and Friends," the network announced Monday.
Hasselbeck, who joined the show in September 2013, cited a "personal" reason for her decision — to spend more time with her three children. Hasselbeck said she and Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes discussed the topic over several weeks.
Read Hasselbeck's full statement below:
“Oftentimes, the most difficult decisions are between two great things. Throughout my 14 years working in television, I have never experienced a more positive and thoughtful atmosphere than FOX News Channel, thanks to the strong leadership of (FOX News Chairman & CEO) Roger Ailes, who has created the best working environment a woman and mother could ask for. His understanding, compassion, and kindness was exemplified when I shared with him that I am entering into a season where I want to start my day with my children first, and he offered his blessing to do so. With a heart full of gratitude and the peace that God has given me, I am confident that this personal decision is the right one for our family, and we will be joining all of you watching Fox & Friends each morning as we get ready for school together."
A variety of co-hosts will take Hasselbeck's seat on the curvy couch until a permanent replacement is named, the network said in a release.
Hasselbeck joined co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, where she helped the show maintain its status as the highest-rated cable news morning program in the 6-9 a.m. time slot, ahead of CNN's "New Day" and MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Prior to joining Fox News, Hasselbeck spent nearly a decade as a co-host on the ABC women's daytime talk show "The View," where she was the only conservative and often participated in heated on-air exchanges with her liberal co-hosts.
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