THE BLOG
10/01/2013 03:44 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

ABC News: 'Geography' Played Role In George Will Departure

A year ago, WNYC host Alec Baldwin pressed conservative columnist George Will about why he remained at ABC News for three decades instead of joining Fox News, a right-leaning network of which he'd be more ideologically aligned.

Will, who has been a regular on Sunday's "This Week" for more than three decades, said he had never been approached by Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who he described as a friend.

"And there was never an attempt by anyone to try to poach you," Baldwin asked, to which Will responded "nope."

But clearly Will has heard from Fox News since then and, on Tuesday, joined the cable network's stable of commentators. He'll provide analysis and commentary on daytime and primetime programs, along with "Fox News Sunday."

Will could not be immediately be reached, but an ABC News spokesman said the Will's decision to leave the network after 32 years "came down to a matter of geography."

With George Stephanopoulos hosting "Good Morning America" in New York during the week, Sunday's "This Week," long based in Washington D.C., now only tapes in the capital about once every four weeks. And Will, who lives in the D.C.-area, informed ABC News that traveling several weekends a month was becoming tougher for him, according to the spokesman.

"As all his readers know, George is brilliant," Stephanopoulos said, in a statement provided to The Huffingotn Post. "Those of us lucky enough to work with him also know that he's a consummate gentleman. I learned from him every week, and wish him all good things."

The ABC spokesman said the network "couldn't be happier about our long association with him, think the world of him, think he's a unique and singular voice and wish him the best -- a class act from start to finish."