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FOX Tabs Palin for Contributor Role

Sarah Palin is joining Fox News, and predictably this news is banging around all the regular media stops and making a lot of noise.

The network announced Monday that Palin, the former Alaska governor and John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential election, "has signed a multi-year deal to offer her political commentary and analysis across all Fox News platforms, including Fox Business Channel, and Fox News Radio."

The network went on to say she would, "also participate in special event political programming for Fox Broadcasting."

While news of this hiring seems to have been held tight, it hardly comes as a surprise.

Palin has proven to be a political lightning rod since she was launched into the spotlight during McCain's failed bid for the White House. Her name recognition alone should be worth valuable rating points and plenty of buzz for the already top-ranked cable news channel.

"Governor Palin has captivated everyone on both sides of the political spectrum and we are excited to add her dynamic voice to the FOX News lineup," said Bill Shine, executive vice president of programming.

During the campaign and since, Palin, 45, has earned legions of supporters and detractors on both sides of the political fence.

"I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News," Palin said in a written release. "It's wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news."

There can be little debate that Fox's pronounced lean to the right side of the political spectrum has been a winning formula for the network over the years.

When it continues to load the political-pundit scale on one side with so many conservative heavyweights, however, it is fair to question whether that significant tilt might impact the news department at Fox, and its ability to deliver information its audience can trust to be straight down the middle, and 'fair and balanced,' as it professes.

That's for the viewers to decide, of course, and Fox executives seem to be betting they'll like the addition of Palin just fine, thank you.