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Goodbye, Glasses . . . Hello, Hugs

August 29, 2005 12:00 AM

Bill Hemmer, after 10 years at CNN, joins the Fox News Channel today as an anchor and occasional correspondent. If he looks a bit different, it's because on CNN Mr. Hemmer usually wore glasses. After he left CNN June 17, he had LASIK surgery and now will appear without eyeglasses for the first time in a decade. Mr. Hemmer said he was immediately made to feel welcome at his new home. "They don't greet you here with handshakes. They greet you here with hugs," he said, adding that he got his first hug from Fox News and Fox Television Stations Chairman Roger Ailes. "This was during an editorial meeting," Mr. Hemmer said, adding that he was greeted in a similar fashion by correspondent Geraldo Rivera, judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano and "Fox & Friends'" Steve Doocy, who helped kick Mr. Hemmer's ratings butt by some 372,000 viewers per show when Mr. Hemmer was Soledad O'Brien's co-anchor on CNN's "American Morning." Mr. Hemmer said his Fox show is still undergoing fine-tuning, but he expects it to be fast-paced. "The whole mind-set of cable news viewers is that they are a quick and fickle bunch," he explained. "They want their information now. Don't make 'em wait, because they're going to find it somewhere else and fast-and on their own time, not on your time."-MICHELE GREPPI



Get Your Phil This Week

"Dr. Phil" fans in Los Angeles may want to tape some shows to rewatch during the first week of September. That's because "Dr. Phil" is moving from the NBC affiliate to the CBS station this fall. The last episode on KNBC-TV airs Sept. 2, but the new season won't begin on KCBS-TV until Sept. 12. KNBC will run "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" in "Dr. Phil's" old time slot starting Sept. 5. For those who just can't get enough, KCBS is expected to run several "news" items on Phil McGraw the week before he officially joins the lineup and give the new addition a major promo push. And if you really love Dr. Phil, beginning a week later you can rewatch his show when each episode repeats on KCBS sister station KCAL-TV in early evening. -CHRISTOPHER LISOTTA



The Scare Threshold

Networks try to come up with promotions for their new series that reflect the tone of the show. For its new science-fiction thriller "Threshold," CBS is relying on mystery-and a little fear-to help sell the Friday night drama. A few weeks ago the network sent out small envelopes marked "Confidential," with a hastily scribbled mailing address and no return address. In these troubled times, Blink thought twice about handling the envelope, which held nothing more than a puzzle piece. Three more mysterious envelopes followed to complete the puzzle, which touted "Threshold." According to a network spokeswoman, "Threshold" executive producers Brannon Braga and David Goyer first pitched the series using the analogy of a puzzle, which CBS incorporated into the show's marketing. The response has been mixed. "We got a lot of people saying, 'That was really clever,'" the spokeswoman said. "A couple people called and said, 'I made my assistant open it first.'" -CHRISTOPHER LISOTTA