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In October 2008, he traveled to Baghdad, Iraq, to cover post-Iraq War troop surge of 2007 conditions.Included within this assignment were interviews with Generals David Petraeus and Raymond Odierno, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
On April 9, 2007, the show debuted as one of a series of rotating programs auditioning for Imus's former slot, with Scarborough joined by co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Ridley.During the 2012 election season, Hemmer covered the Democratic National Convention live from Charlotte, North Carolina and the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.He played an essential role on election night, monitoring FNC's "Bill Board".While in college, Hemmer interned as a radio disc jockey for Mama Jazz at WMUB-FM and later at the iconic WOXY-FM, which is considered to be America's first alternative music station, before taking an internship at Cincinnati's NBC affiliate.He started in sports production at WLWT-TV in the mid-1980s where he realized his passion for live television.Throughout the journey, Hemmer wrote dispatches and submitted tapes and photos for both The Cincinnati Post, a local newspaper, and CBS's local affiliate that were assembled into several pieces collectively known as "Bill's Excellent Adventure." On his return from hiatus, he returned to WCPO as a news reporter before accepting a position at CNN's international headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hemmer spent ten years at CNN hosting a number of programs, including American Morning (originally with Paula Zahn, and later with Soledad O'Brien), CNN Tonight, CNN Early Edition, CNN Morning News, and CNN Live Today with co-anchor Daryn Kagan. He reported from World Trade Center site in New York City for a month in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and from Khandahar, Afghanistan during the buildup of American forces in the early days of The War on Terror.
Ridley quickly dropped out as main co-host but continued as a regular guest, while Willie Geist was tapped as co-host.
The program permanently took over the slot in July 2007, though the decision was not officially announced until that October.
Both programs finished behind Fox News's Fox & Friends during the same time period.
By March 2010, the show's ratings remained behind those of Fox & Friends, but surpassed its other cable competitors American Morning, Morning Express with Robin Meade, and Squawk Box.
As the program has risen in age, its focus has shifted partly toward enterprise journalism and sourced reporting of Scarborough and Brzezinski's own.