William George "Bill" Hemmer was born on November 14, 1964 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His mother was a high-school teacher and his father was a retired Serta Mattress salesman. He is the middle child of five. He attended Our Lady of Victory Catholic parochial school before later graduating from Elder High School. At Elder, Hemmer started a pre-class radio program which lead to an interest in broadcasting. He attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism. In college at Miami University, he continued his high-school disc jockey experience for Mama Jazz at WMUB-FM and later at WOXY-FM. WOXY-FM became famously known for being America's first alternative music station.
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He moved onto sports production at WLWT-TV after realizing his passion for life television. During his senior year at Miami University he was offered a position as a sports producer at WLWT-TV. He then moved on to the CBS affiliate WCPO-TV as a weekend sports anchor.
Putting his career on hiatus, at age 26 Bill decided to take a break from the news and backpack around the world. He visited China, Vietnam, Nepal, India, Egypt, Israel, and Eastern Europe and made a documentary of his experience which he titled "Bill's Excellent Adventure." He also sent dispatches and photos to The Cincinnati Post, his hometown newspaper. "Bill's Excellent Adventure" ended up winning two regional Emmy's: Best Entertainment Program and Best Host. He states that the trip not only helped him in his future employment, but that it was a "life changer." "How could it not", he told Haute Living in 2018. "When you spend nearly a year backpacking through the Third World on just handful of dollars each day, your perspective changes for a lifetime." "It was one of the most redemptive and enlightening years of my life. Never go a day without thinking about, or knowing of something I learned 'out there'. It has led to everything else I understand about our world."
When he returned he worked for a short period of time as a news reporter to WCPO channel, and thereafter was offered a position at CNN's international headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
He ultimately spent ten years at CNN and hosted a variety of programs such as American Morning, CNN Tonight, CNN Early Edition, CNN Morning News, and CNN Live Today. He covered the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta, for which he won an Emmy, and the 2000 U.S. Presidential election recount in Florida. He also covered the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and spent time broadcasting from Khandahar, Afghanistan during the early days of the consequential War on Terror. In May of 2001 he covered the Timothy McVeigh execution, and the next summer reported live from Somerset, Pennsylvania during a mining accident were nine mining workers were trapped for 77 hours. He also covered the death of Pope John Paul II from Vatican City in 2005.
He continued to cover live national events when he joined Fox News in August 2005, including Hurricane Katrina, the 2006 Israel-Lebanon crisis, Iraq War, and a July 2008 interview with the Democratic Party presidential nominee, Barack Obama. During the 2012 election, he covered both the Democratic National Convention live from Charlotte, North Carolina and the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. On election night he was responsible for Fox News Channel's "Bill Board." He continued on to cover the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and the Boston Marathon bombing in April of 2013. In 2016 he reported from France during the country's deadly terrorist attacks and also of Pope Francis' first visit to the United States. In May of 2017 he interviewed former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and covered the FBI investigation of James Comey in 2018. He currently is the anchor for the regularly scheduled America's Newsroom alongside Sandra Smith. He has anchored the program since its creation in 2009 and through most of his career at Fox.
In June 2018, it as announced that Fox News would devote an extra hour to America's Newsroom each morning. "Bill and Sandra's ability to cut through the headlines and provide hard-hitting interviews with the nation's leaders have made it must-see television and we're excited to add an extra hour of this informative program to the weekday lineup", Jay Wallace, president of Fox News announced. Bill was particularly excited about the change. "What I'm looking forward to is the opportunity to get more newsmakers and more opinion makers into a program that I consider to be not just an extra hour, but an extra hour of power and news," he told TVNewser. "This will give us an opportunity to take a little more time to work our way through the issues of the day, to make room for other voices of all kinds." Bill is known for being one of Fox News' "objective" and non-ideological voices. "I think the news cycle today has been so demanding, and I find, personally, the world to be a confounding place. The events around the world are forcing everyone to think a little harder, to dig a little deeper and to put things in its proper order. And I think unfortunately the way many of us consume news today through a Twitter feed or a Facebook feed or through click bait, we are consuming headlines and not the story."
Bill has won several awards for his accomplishments and has also dedicated much time and effort to helping others, both through his journalism and charitable contributions. Every year he hosts the George Knittle Memorial Bayley Place Golf Classic in honor of his grandfather and which benefits Bayley Senior Living. He is an outspoken supporter of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, spurred by his extensive time covering events from both countries. He anchored an episode of Wounded Warriors Stories in 2005. Along with two fellow Miami University graduates, Hemmer established the MUDEC scholarship. He also established the William G. Hemmer Scholarship in his own name which is awarded to an Elder High School student that is interested in world travel and journalism.
Bill regularly updates his Twitter account (@BillHemmer) and has over 340,000 followers. His Instagram, @billhemmer, features photos from his many travels and has nearly 30,000 followers. Bill's Facebook (BillHemmerFNC) has more than 128,000 followers. In 2017 he humorously played himself in the film Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020