Palin signs on with FOX news

Monday, January 11, 2010 - 2:22pm

UNDATED - A Fox News executive says the network will shortly announce that the former vice-presidential nominee is signing on as a contributor.

Palin, who resigned as governor of Alaska last summer, will appear as a commentator on various Fox shows. She will also host an occasional program that will examine inspirational tales involving ordinary Americans.

Palin will join Mike Huckabee as a Fox contributor who was also involved in the 2008 campaign. The exposure can only help Palin if she decides to pursue a 2012 presidential bid.

At the moment, Palin makes pronouncements mainly through her Facebook page. The Fox connection would give her a platform on the nation's top-rated cable news channel.

Palin is extremely popular with her conservative base, which has fueled the sales of her best-selling memoir. But she is a divisive political figure who not only draws the ire of liberals but some Republicans, including staffers who deal with her during her run as John McCain's running mate. Steve Schmidt, a top McCain strategist, said on "60 Minutes" last night that "there were numerous instances that she said things that were — that were not accurate that ultimately, the campaign had to deal with."

Hiring Palin could further boost the popularity of Rupert Murdoch's network among conservative viewers. The network already employs former Bush White House aide Karl Rove and former House speaker Newt Gingrich as highly visible commentators.