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PEOPLE IN BRIEF: Palin named Fox News commentator

Palin named Fox News commentator

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Sarah Palin, former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, will return to her broadcast roots and take her conservative message to Fox News as a regular commentator, the cable channel announced Monday.

Fox said that according to the multiyear deal, Palin will offer political commentary and analysis on the cable channel, as well as Fox's Web site, radio network and business cable channel.

She also will host occasional episodes of Fox News' ''Real American Stories,'' a series debuting this year that the network said will feature true inspirational stories about Americans who have overcome adversity.

Cowell says he's leaving 'American Idol'

PASADENA, Calif. -- Simon Cowell, the acerbic Brit who has helped give ''American Idol'' some of its sharpest -- and nastiest -- moments, will leave the popular singing show after this season.

The cantankerous judge said that ''The X Factor,'' a show he created and is a hit in Britain, will join Fox's schedule next year. Cowell will be on ''The X Factor.''

Cowell's decision is the biggest threat yet to what has been the country's most popular TV program and a true cultural force. This season, original host Paula Abdul has been replaced by Ellen DeGeneres.

Walters: NBC News tried to hire her in '09

NEW YORK -- Barbara Walters said NBC News tried to hire her back last June, but she decided to stay at ABC.

Walters says she met with NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker and other officials, but chose not to go because she's been happy at ABC.

The 80-year-old journalist said Monday on ''The View'' that with the emphasis on the 18-to-49 age group for advertising, ''it was a very flattering offer.'' Walters said she would have been able to continue to appear on the ABC show.