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College of Information and Communications


Alumna lands leading role on network news

Posted March 2, 2016
By Parker King, junior broadcast journalism major


Millions of Americans are getting to know a School of Journalism and Mass Communications alumna in a new way — as the co-host of "Fox & Friends," one of cable news’ highest-rated morning programs. Ainsley Earhardt, a 1999 graduate who majored in broadcast journalism, joined the popular "Fox & Friends" morning newscast in February.

One of Earhardt’s former broadcast journalism professors, Rick Peterson, says it was very clear to him that she had the skills and the drive to be successful in the field.

"I’m not surprised to hear about Ainsley’s success at FOX because from the very beginning she had such a passion for the business and a strong work ethic," Peterson said. "The first news director who visited the class and saw Ainsley’s work offered her a job before the semester ended. She was a remarkable student. She had the talent, and she was willing to work really hard to succeed. Hard work pays off."

My training at USC helped catapult me to New York City where I was just named the co-host of FOX and Friends on the FOX News Channel. This is my dream job! I love living in Manhattan, but will always remember my roots as a South Carolina Gamecock.

Ainsley Earhardt

Earhardt replaced former host Elisabeth Hasselback and will work alongside current hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade. The program airs each weekday morning from 6 to 9.

Earhardt started her career in television news through her work with the school's broadcast journalism senior semester program, an immersive news laboratory experience where students anchor, report, produce, and direct a daily television newscast, Carolina News, and disseminate online and mobile content.

Earhardt credits the USC program and her faculty with preparing her for success. "I got my start at the University of South Carolina and will forever be indebted to the journalism school and all of my professors. They believed in me from the beginning and taught me everything I needed to know to pursue my career. It is one of the best programs in the country and I would recommend it to anyone interested in broadcasting," she said. "My training at USC helped catapult me to New York City where I was just named the co-host of FOX and Friends on the FOX News Channel. This is my dream job! I love living in Manhattan, but will always remember my roots as a South Carolina Gamecock."

After Carolina News, Earhardt joined WLTX-TV (CBS) in Columbia, South Carolina as a morning anchor. She also worked at KENS-TV (CBS) in San Antonio, Texas, before joining FOX News in 2007.