'Special Report' Anchor Brit Hume Steps Down

After 10 years on the air at FOX News, "Special Report" Anchor Brit Hume is passing the torch to Chief White House Correspondent Bret Baier.

Hume will continue to appear on the top rated political program in his new role as senior political analyst, while occasionally anchoring major news events and contributing to the "FOX News Sunday" panel.

Before joining FOX News in 1996, Hume was with ABC News for 23 years, serving as chief White House correspondent from 1989 through 1996.

"When we first started the FOX News Channel, I knew the toughest problem would be to have credibility for a new network," president Roger Ailes said. Adding that Hume was what the network needed to gain early credibility.

"He's been a real pillar for the FOX News Channel," Ailes said.

In a tribute to Hume during his final broadcast, FOX News political reporters, correspondents and U.S. presidents wished the anchor well.

VIDEO: Click to watch 'Thank You, Brit'

President George W. Bush called Hume "one of the most respected journalists," adding, "You're a role model to young reporters. And while you leave big shoes to fill, we hope many are inspired to follow in your footsteps."

Vice President Dick Cheney said: "I've always known you to be a skilled and fair-minded reporter. You've lived up to that standard every day of your career, and you've made 'Special Report' one of the finest news programs in the world."

"He had the mind of a journalist, that's all he ever thought about — getting the story and getting it right," political correspondent Jim Angle said of Hume.

"It's so daunting to sit in this chair — there will never be another Brit," Bret Baier said.

Charlie Gibson, a former colleague of Hume at ABC, said: "Brit, I salute you and I wish you well, and I look forward to playing a round of golf, or two, as we move on."

Hume has received numerous honors and awards, including the 2003 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism from the National Press Foundation. He also received a 1991 Emmy Award for his coverage of the Gulf War and was twice named "The Best in the Business" by the American Journalism Review for his extensive news coverage of the White House. Hume is the author of two books; "Inside Story" and "Death and the Mines."

"Special Report" debuted in January 1998 and is the highest rated political program on cable television, airing weekdays on FOX News Channel from 6 to 7 p.m. ET.

Click to view Brit Hume's biography