April 25, 2006

Bush picks Fox’s Snow as press secretary

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush has picked Fox News
Radio host Tony Snow as his new White House press secretary and
is expected to announce the choice as early as Wednesday, a
Republican official said on Tuesday night.

Snow will replace Scott McClellan, who announced his
resignation last week as part of a staff shake-up engineered by
new White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten aimed at reviving
Bush's presidency.

Sources familiar with the situation said Snow wrestled with
the decision for several days on whether to take the grueling
job. A former speechwriter for former President George Bush, he
was treated for colon cancer last year.

Fox News said on its website Snow was given a clean bill of
health by his oncologist Tuesday, following a CAT scan and
other tests that were undertaken last Thursday.

He was said to have been waiting for the all-clear from his
doctors before accepting the job.

A conservative pundit, Snow, 50, has been host of Fox News
Radio's "The Tony Snow Show" and for a time was anchor of the
"Fox News Sunday" program.

The Washington Post said Snow decided to accept after top
officials assured him he would not be just a spokesman but an
active participant in administration policy debates.

The Post quoted sources as saying Snow views himself as
well-positioned to ease the tensions between the Bush White
House and the press corps because he understands both politics
and journalism.

Bolten has embarked on a shake-up of Bush's senior staff in
a drive to breathe new life into Bush's presidency and rebound
from job approval ratings that, according to a CNN poll, have
dipped to an all-time low of 32 percent.

Last week, in addition to McClellan's resignation, the
shake-up led to senior Bush political adviser Karl Rove giving
up his day-to-day policy role to focus on helping Republicans
retain control of both houses of the U.S. Congress in November
mid-term elections.

Snow, a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, will represent a rare
case in which a Washington journalist takes over as the White
House spokesman. The job will come with a pay cut, down to
about $161,000 a year.