01/23/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Brit Hume Signs Off As "Special Report" Anchor With Video Message From Bush And Cheney

Brit Hume signed off as anchor of Fox News' "Special Report" Tuesday night, his final night anchoring the evening newscast. Fox News announced earlier that afternoon that he would be succeeded by Chief White House Correspondent Bret Baier.

Hume's final broadcast included a video montage of on- and off-air moments, as well as video tributes from his colleagues at Fox News, his former colleague Charlie Gibson, both Presidents Bush and Vice President Cheney.

"After decades of hard work," President Bush said to Hume, "you've become one of the most respected journalists in the business. You're a role model for young reporters, and while you leave big shoes to fill, we hope many are inspired to follow in your footsteps." The President later added, "We wish you and Kim a restful, productive retirement, full of joyous moments with your grandchildren and surrounded by the people you love."

Vice President Cheney said, "I've always known you to be a skilled and fair-minded reporter. You've lived up to that standard every day of your career, and you've made 'Special Report' one of the finest news programs in the world." He then added, "Lynne and I wish you all the best in the years ahead and we congratulate you for a job well done."

Former President Bush joked like an old friend, saying, "Brit, here we are memorializing you and you're not even dead yet! But time marches on. You've done a great job there in your day-to-day leadership role on Fox....I hope you all the best in the future."


Gibson, who worked with Hume at ABC, said he was "saddened" when Hume left for Fox News but he could tell how proud Hume was to be there. "You could see the pride in his eyes," Gibson said of Hume, who relayed "what a pleasure it was to work with young reporters who he thought would develop into something really fine.

"So Brit, I salute you," Gibson said, "and I wish you well, and I look forward to playing a round of golf, or two, as we move on."

Also represented in the video were Fox News personalities Carl Cameron, Major Garrett, Jim Angle, and Bret Baier, as well as behind the scenes staff (Sr. Producer Jim Eldridge, Director Bob Armfield, Sr. Producer Doug Rohrbeck, and Sr. Writer Marty Hill) and some of Hume's favorite panelists (Fred Barnes, Mara Liasson, Mort Kondracke, and Charles Krauthammer).

Hume will remain with the network as a senior political analyst, he reminded viewers in his sign-off. He also thanked viewers for their loyalty and the show's staff for their hard work. His full comments below:

Finally tonight, as we have noted, starting the 1st of the year, I will have a new assignment here at Fox News as senior political analyst. And I'm delighted to tell you that my good friend and colleague Bret Baier will take over as the anchor of "Special Report," though I will be a frequent part of it in my new job.

The program will continue as a serious nightly newscast with a special focus on Washington and politics, and the elements you have come to expect -- solid and balanced reporting of our correspondents, "The Grapevine," and of course the "All-Star Panel" -- will continue as well.

The success of this program is the work of many people, too numerous to mention here, and I thank all of them for years of hard and highly professional work. But I also want to thank you the viewers, who have responded to it in such numbers. It is your loyalty that makes it all possible, and I hope and trust that that too will continue.

As I have vacation coming, this will be my last night in the anchor chair. Bret will be here after the holidays, and so, in a new year, in a new role, will I.

And that's "Special Report" for this time. Please tune us in next time. And, in the meantime, more news is on the way -- fair, balanced, and unafraid.