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Snow takes White House job

Fox News analyst replaces McClellan as press secretary

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Tony Snow, the new White House spokesman, said he wants to work with the press corps.

SNOW BIOGRAPHY

Age: 50
Education: Davidson College
Family: Married, three children
Career: 1996-2006, Fox News; 1994-2000, USA Today; 1991, White House speechwriter

Source: Fox News

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White House

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush announced his new White House press secretary on Wednesday: former Fox News host Tony Snow.

"As a professional journalist, Tony Snow understands the importance of the relationship between government and those whose job it is to cover the government," Bush said during a White House appearance.

Snow replaces Scott McClellan, who announced last week he would step down during a West Wing makeover by Josh Bolten, the new White House chief of staff.

Snow, 50, was a weekend news anchor and political analyst for the Fox News Channel, which he joined in 1996. He also hosted "The Tony Snow Show" on Fox News Radio.

The GOP sources said that before agreeing to take the post Snow had sought and received assurances from Bolten and other senior White House officials that he would be an active participant in major policy debates and would have a significant say in hiring in the press and communications operations.

Snow also had lunch with Bush to discuss his role, two of those sources said.

The White House approached Snow weeks ago about the job, and sources familiar with his deliberations said he had been focusing on family, financial and health issues in making a decision.

Snow was diagnosed with colon cancer in February 2005 and had been awaiting medical clearance before making a final decision.

The sources said that over the past week, he discussed the post with an array of senior administration officials as well as aides in previous GOP administrations and Republicans close to the White House.

As one source put it, Snow wanted to "address some of his questions and build a comfort level" before giving Bolten a final decision.

The position will be Snow's second stint at the White House, where he was director of speechwriting during the President George H.W. Bush's administration.

He was a nationally syndicated columnist with The Detroit News in Detroit, Michigan, from 1993 to 2001 and was a columnist for USA Today from 1994 to 2000.

Before then, he was an editorial writer at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk; editorial page editor of The Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia; deputy editorial page editor of The Detroit News; and editorial page editor of The Washington Times.

McClellan became press secretary in July 2003 after his predecessor, Ari Fleischer, resigned. McClellan had been deputy press secretary under Fleischer.

CNN's John King and Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report.

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