Page last updated at 22:34 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Sarah Palin signs on as a commentator with Fox News

Sarah Palin at a book signing in Virginia
Mrs Palin has growing popularity among US conservatives

Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has signed to be a contributor on the Fox News Channel, her lawyer has said.

Mrs Palin, who ran for the post of vice-president during the 2008 election on a Republican ticket, stepped down as Alaska governor in July 2009.

Fox News said that while Mrs Palin would not have her own programme, she would appear on the channel regularly as part of a multi-year deal.

Financial details of the deal have not been released.

"I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News," Mrs Palin said in a statement on the network's website.

"It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."

Fox's executive vice-president for programming, Bill Shine, said Mrs Palin had "captivated everyone on both sides of the political spectrum".

"We are excited to add her dynamic voice to the Fox News line-up," he added.

Mrs Palin was catapulted to fame when Republican presidential candidate John McCain surprisingly chose her as his running mate for the 2008 election.

News of her resignation as governor 17 months before her term in office was up had prompted speculation that she was planning to pursue a career in television.

The Washington Post reports that as well as appearing as a commentator on a variety of shows on the channel, she would occasionally host a programme featuring "inspirational tales involving ordinary Americans".

Correspondents say hiring Sarah Palin is likely to further increase the network's ratings with conservative viewers.

Facebook page

A number of Republican commentators already work for the network, among them George W Bush's former aide Karl Rove, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and John McCain's rival for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, Mike Huckabee.

Until now, Mrs Palin has mainly used her page on the social networking site Facebook to update her more than one million followers.

Regular appearances on a major network could further increase her support among conservatives.

Her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show in November 2009, during which she said a run for the White House in 2012 was "not on my radar screen right now", boosted the programme's ailing ratings.

It is not the first time Mrs Palin will be signing on with a TV station. In the 1980s she worked part-time as a sports presenter for the KTUU station in Anchorage, Alaska.

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