It wouldn't be much of a stretch to describe Bret Baier's rise at Fox News as meteoric. In just about 10 years, the Atlanta native went from starting the network’s Atlanta bureau (which consisted of a cell phone and fax machine in his apartment), to lead news anchor, drawing 2 million viewers each night. What many of those viewers may not know is that Baier credits part of that rapid rise to his two-year gig at WRAL in the 1990s.
Baier, anchor of the one-hour "Special Report with Bret Baier" (6 p.m., Monday-Friday), was hired away from WRAL in 1998 by Fox News to start the Atlanta bureau, and then moved to Washington in 2001 as their Pentagon correspondent. He became the White House Correspondent in 2006 and replaced Brit Hume as the Fox News nightly anchor in January 2009.
Baier will moderate the South Carolina GOP debate in Myrtle Beach on Monday (9 p.m., Fox News Channel).
We spoke to Baier by phone on Friday and asked him about his time at WRAL, his family in D.C., and how he plans to handle the big South Carolina debate. Below are excerpts from that conversation.