A long-running Fox News anchor is calling it quits, announcing her exit Friday morning in a tear-filled, emotional send-off.
(Video: Fox News)
“Today is my last day here at Fox News,” Jillian Mele announced, obviously holding back some tears. “This, as you know, has been the most difficult decision I have ever made in my life.
“In part because I love working here and I love the people here because you are friends. You are family,” she continued. “And I feel so blessed to have had this time here but, ultimately I had to do what was right for me and I thank you for welcoming me into your home every single morning.”
The departing co-host went on to say that she will be taking time off to focus on herself, noting that she has not slept “past 1 a.m.” for her “whole adult life” before announcing she’ll be returning to academics in pursuit of an MBA at LaSalle University, which is located in her hometown of Philadelphia.
Earlier, she said that she had been a part of the “Fox & Friends” team for nearly five years as the crew launched into a video montage looking back at her life and career with Fox News and before, when she focused mostly on sports broadcasting in the Philadelphia market.
“This is such family you and Carley and Ashley and Janice, everybody here have been such important people in my life,” she told her co-hosts and co-workers.
“And to everyone here, the bosses, Gavin, Lauren who is a saint, Suzanne Scott, Jay Wallace, everyone who believed in me, thank you from the bottom of my heart because I am a better person for having been here,” she added.
Mele spent a lot of time reporting from the field during her morning show stint and tended to remain above the political fray, though she was mindful of Fox News’ right-leaning views. Some of the segments highlighted during the video montage included:
— Following the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl LII victory;
— The World Series
— Live shots from Orlando, Atlanta, and Vero Beach (Fla.)
— The annual Army-Navy Game
— A rodeo, where she roped a bale of hay
— A segment where co-host Lawrence Jones turned around a cowboy hat she was wearing backward
— Gator watching in Florida’s Everglades
— A skydiving experience
— Flying an airplane
— Cooking a breakfast casserole on the set of Fox & Friends
— Hitting baseballs in a batting cage
— Putting a golf ball
“It has been great having you here, and the real tribute to your dedication is the fact that I don’t think you ever missed an alarm,” co-host Steve Doocy said in reference to Mele’s work ethic on the early-morning show.
“The relationships that you see on TV are the relationships that we have in real life,” a tearful Mele said as the crew gave her balloons and a bouquet of flowers. “It’s so special — you guys are the best people I have ever worked with.”
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