Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino are now co-anchors of America’s Newsroom, the daily 9-11 Fox News morning program. Hemmer and Perino will take the show to Tampa on Monday for a post-Super Bowl edition. The duo spoke with OutKick on the show, the Super Bowl, Brady-Mahomes, their careers, and more:
Bobby Burack: What are your thoughts on the coverage for this year’s Super Bowl. You’ve covered many before, but none like this.
Bill Hemmer: Yeah, Bobby. I think it’s kind of a curious weekend for me. Because I’ve gone to so many Super Bowls. And I’ve always thought it’s probably the single best event that America does every year. And it’s a blast. People all over the country, in all walks of life, converge in one spot. I think it is probably one of the few places in life where you can go, where at least at kickoff, everyone is happy. Everyone. And they know the eyes of the country are watching that game. It’s a thrill. A ton of energy. And if you’re a football fan, you put all that together and you have arguably the best day of the year. It’s Christmas time for football fans.
This year, it will be a very different scene. I was going through some of the material this past week, and normally you’d have events all day, probably beginning on Thursday, picking up more on Friday, and all day Saturday. Then, you would have a lot of events prior to the game. As best as I can tell, none of that’s happening this year. It has all been canceled. And I found out today, the Kansas City Chiefs are flying in on Saturday. You contrast that with past Super Bowls, where they would have media days that were 10 days in advance. All the players would get interviewed, and they really pumped up the game. That drew more and more attention to it. None of that is happening. So I don’t know what to expect, other than it will be a different experience for certain. It’ll be a COVID Super Bowl that we will never forget. But I’m hoping once we get deep into the second half, maybe the third or fourth quarter, that it will feel like a football game. It will feel somewhat normal. That’s my hope.
Burack: What’s your favorite Super Bowl memory?
Hemmer: Ooh, love the question. Super Bowl memory, huh? Look, I think when the Patriots picked off that pass in the closing seconds against Seattle, out in Arizona, that was something else. Bringing my dad to a game in Houston, that was the Justin Timberlake-Janet Jackson game. That was something else. I remember bringing my mom to the Giants-Patriots in Indianapolis. We were in the fifth row, the 50-yard line behind the Giants bench. Eli Manning hitting the receiver, I think that was in Florida. All those are unforgettable.
Living in New York, even though the Broncos got blown out by the Seahawks, it was so still fun to have a Super Bowl here. So on and on the list goes. Ben Roethlisberger went to my college. When he was a rookie, they beat Seattle in Detroit. That was cool to be there. As you can tell, it builds memories that you carry with you for a long time.
Burack: So who’s going to win? What’s your prediction?
Hemmer: Ha, I’m still doing my research. I do all this due diligence, give three points, over-under 66, that stuff. But I like to have fun with my dad or someone else who wants to put a buck on it. I think it’s very hard right now to see Mahomes lose after he has two weeks of rest. How can you bet against him?
Does that work, no score but not betting against Mahomes?
Burack: Sure, you get a pass, kind of weak, though. Bill, what was your reaction when you found out you were moving back to host American Newsroom, this time with Dana Perino?
Hemmer: Dana is terrific. I think we got off to a great start. She’s a great partner. She’s got a great sense of humor. She loves the news. So, I think the pairing has been terrific. And we’re off to a great start together. We are looking forward to Monday’s post-Super Bowl show, then we will be back in New York by Monday evening and ready to carry on with the impeachment proceedings on Tuesday.
Burack: Bill you have a podcast now, Hemmer Time, I wrote a piece on the podcasting industry last week, there’s an opening there for you.
Hemmer: Yes, sir. Thank you for asking. With mine, I try to bring the conversation towards the news events that are either happening back then or will be forthcoming. I sometimes see it as research for the job I do on TV. Because if you get an excellent guest, for example, you know, a great legal mind on the impeachment, or a great political mind on elections that are forthcoming, you can gain a lot of knowledge just by listening. Larry King passed away last week, he said, “I’ve never learned anything by cataloging.” That’s the value of a good podcast. The listeners can kick back and take something away from it. There is value added to the experience.
Burack: You cover news and our sports fan — what have you thought about the sports now so frequently crossing over to the news? Has it taken away that quote-unquote “escape”?
Hemmer: I see it differently, Bobby. Football is still one of the few escapes you still have. Maybe the only one. I’m watching. When they played the championship games a week and a half ago, it was the only thing that I even had on my schedule. That was all weekend. I’m grateful that they’re able to figure out a way to make it happen. I love golf, but I can only watch so much. I’ve found so much joy in watching football this season. The question should be, “What are we going to do when the Super Bowl is over?” What will the escape be then? Because February and March are going to be long months.
Maybe some good books that you haven’t read yet, but we’ve got a few more months to endure with this, unfortunately. I give credit to the NFL for pulling this season off, I don’t know what we would’ve done without it. To me, it has been an escape.
Burack: Dana Perino, fresh off the set of The Five, thanks for hopping on OutKick.
Dana Perino: Oh, no, thank you, Bobby. I’m excited to be here.
Burack: What do you and Hemmer have planned for Monday’s post-Super Bowl show in Tampa?
Perino: I‘m really excited. So Hemmer and I started our show together on January 18. And, of course, you know, during COVID times, it’s not easy to travel around. But we started our show in DC for the inauguration, and now we get this opportunity to go to the Super Bowl. I’m really looking forward to it because I think this is a great American event. And a great story, right? The drama of Brady versus Mahomes. I don’t know if we’ll ever see this kind of a matchup again. You tell me, will we?
Burack: Which quarterback would you rather have on Sunday?
Perino: Haha, okay, so obviously, you probably know this, Bobby, I am not the best sports expert. That said, I have to say, I am really pulling for Brady. I think it is such a feat of athleticism, and it really is inspiring for people to see what can be done. I’m picking Brady.
Burack: Wait, aren’t you a Bills fan?
Perino: Well, look, I have a lot of friends that are from Buffalo. And so they were so excited about the Bills Mafia, so I decided I would support them. I actually grew up in Denver, Colorado. And so the Broncos, that was my team. John Elway was my quarterback. Okay, fair? And then Peyton Manning. But I’m older, so I’m a John Elway person.
Burack: Bill told me that he thinks that football is America’s last escape. Do you have a go-to to get your mind off of the news, which is such a big part of your life?
Perino: I have become a Peloton obsessive person. I happened to get my Peloton last Christmas. Remember when they had that commercial making fun … well, anyway, there was a commercial about a husband who bought a Peloton for his wife. There were lots of people, including feminist groups, that made fun of them or were very critical of Peloton, saying how sexist it is. So, I told my husband, “I’m not one of those.” And so we got one, and thank goodness we did because during the lockdown, I was still able to get a lot of exercise. During that time, I really needed that to clear my head.
Burack: What was your initial reaction once you found out you were moving to mornings on the West Coat with Bill Hemmer to host America’s Newsroom?
Perino: Okay, so, it took me totally by surprise. I had no idea that this opportunity was going to come my way. Total surprise. And I fully embraced it.
I will tell you, I got a text from my mom on the third day of the show, and she’s in Denver still, and she said, “You look like your true self.” I thought to myself, “She’s absolutely captured it.” I am joyous in the morning. Actually, I’m also one of those very annoying morning people. I am super happy in the morning, I wake up happy ready to go, I’m just annoying. This is a good opportunity for me, plus, to work with somebody who is a very generous partner, so skilled in broadcasting. I learn a lot.
I do hope that more people on the West Coast and in those Mountain states come to us as the first stop in the morning. You can’t forget about the folks in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming, Bobby. Those are kind of my people, so I’m excited that they have a different morning show to watch every day.
Burack: What’s your daily schedule like now? Your first show starts at 9 a.m. and The Five ends at 6 p.m.
Perino: Do you know anyone who has any tips? Anyone nearby? I am welcome to any ideas. I wake up very easily in the morning. I’m now getting up at 4 am hour, like I used to at the White House. That’s a little different. But you know everyone at Fox has been very supportive of me. They know that it is a very long day. On a few occasions, I’ve been able to go home in the middle of the day. I live sort of nearby just about a mile away from the studio, and I got to ride my Peloton. I can see how, if that gets to be a little bit more regular, it will be more sustainable. But then, you know, sometimes I think it’s a long day, and then I get on The Five and I have just so much fun. It’s long but worth it.
Burack: What’s your go-to snack for the Super Bowl?
Perino: Does popcorn count?
Burack: No. That’s a Friday night high school football snack.
Perino: Oh, gosh, fine. A couple of years ago, I made a queso dish, and it just broke the internet because everyone said it looked so gross. But actually tasted fine. I’m trying to be good on my diet. I’m going with celery and cheese.
Burack: Dana, what else do you have coming up?
Perino: Hmm, oh! On March 9, I have my third book that is coming out, and I’m actually getting very excited for it to hit the shelves because it’s called Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women From a Former Young Woman. The title always makes me laugh. It’s all my mentoring advice in one place for women who are starting out their careers but also moving up the ladder as they become leaders and managers. It’s not just career advice, but life advice.
When I do a lot of mentoring, I’m finding that more and more women are basically carrying their quarter-life crisis into their 30s and even into their 40s. They’ve been robbed of a lot of joy. And I want to try to help them get back to a place of balance where they can enjoy their careers and succeed wildly, but in a way that they can enjoy the journey along the way.
Burack: Who is winning the Super Bowl? Are you betting? I’m not letting you go without a score.
Perino: Fine, okay, 31-28, in the fourth quarter, Brady wins. Does that work?
As for betting, Hemmer is trying to explain it to me. I don’t understand the points or the over-under. I just am not a gambler at all. I think that I don’t understand it, to be honest. I don’t know if I have forced myself into a bad situation.
(For those of you who, like Dana, need a quick reference guide for gambling terminology, click here.)