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Why George Will left ABC for Fox News

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 4 2015 2:04 p.m. MDT

George Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, discusses The Political Argument Today at a Brigham Young University forum Oct. 22 in the Marriott Center. (Marcos Escalona, BYU) George Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, discusses The Political Argument Today at a Brigham Young University forum Oct. 22 in the Marriott Center. (Marcos Escalona, BYU)

PROVO, Utah — The initial reports that syndicated columnist George Will left his 32-year stint with ABC's Sunday morning news show "This Week" for Fox News earlier this month said that Will bolted because he didn't want to travel to New York so often.

Will confirmed those reports Tuesday during a one-on-one interview with the Deseret News, but he added some additional reasons.

Primarily based in Washington, Will's home, in previous years, "This Week" increasingly was filmed in New York. "Twenty Saturday nights in New York is too many," Will told the Deseret News.

"That's a large part of it," he added. "Also, ABC News is a small appendage of a giant entertainment complex, Disney, ABC Entertainment, all the rest. Fox News is news all the time, 24 hours a day, and it's just a different energy and feel."

George Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, discusses The Political Argument Today at a Brigham Young University forum Oct. 22 in the Marriott Center. (Marcos Escalona, BYU) George Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, discusses The Political Argument Today at a Brigham Young University forum Oct. 22 in the Marriott Center. (Marcos Escalona, BYU)

Three weeks after the Oct. 1 move, Will said he likes that energy "very much." His travel is limited to managing cross-town traffic.

"I work in Georgetown and it's on Capitol Hill," he said of Fox News studios.

He also likes his new colleagues. "I've known Brit Hume forever," he said, "and Charles Krauthammer's my best friend, so it's good."

Some questioned why he hadn't made the move to Fox News in the past, and he had said it was because Roger Ailes hadn't asked.

"I was just under contract," he said Tuesday. "My contract with ABC expired in June and I made it, I thought, quite clear to them that I was not going to continue" due to the travel.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company