Shepard “Shep” Smith – who joined FOX News when Rupert Murdoch launched the network in 1996 – has announced that he is leaving the 24-hour cable news channel. The chief news anchor and breaking news managing editor made the announcement at the end of his weekday news program Shepard Smith Reporting on Friday, and he also gave zero warning because at the same time he revealed that it was his last show.
“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave FOX News and begin a new chapter,” Smith said. “After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged. The opportunities afforded this guy from small town Mississippi have been many. It’s been an honor and a privilege to report the news each day to our loyal audience in context and with perspective, without fear or favor.”
Smith went on to say that he has worked with the most talented, dedicated, and focused professionals that he’s ever known, and he is proud to have anchored their work each day.
While FOX News is known for the conservative reporting, Smith has always been one of the most independent-minded anchors on the network. He has never been afraid to call out Republicans and their missteps, and he has also criticized President Trump. This led to the POTUS attacking Smith, and he once tweeted “Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith.” When the President heard the news of Smith’s exit, he said, “It was probably because of bad ratings.”
Neil Cavuto, who is the host of the show that follows Shepard Smith Reporting, looked visibly shocked after Smith’s announcement, and introduced his own show by saying, “Whoa. I’m Neil Cavuto and, like you, I’m a little stunned and a little heartbroken.”
Chief White House correspondent John Roberts said that Smith’s departure is “completely shocking” and compared finding out the news with being “hit by a subway train.”
FOX News Media president Jay Wallace says that Smith is one of the premier newscasters of his generation, and his extraordinary body of work is some of the best in the journalism industry. Wallace says that Smith’s reporting helped put FOX News on the map, and there is no better breaking news anchor in the business.
Watch President Trump's reaction to Shepard Smith leaving Fox News:
"It was probably because of bad ratings." pic.twitter.com/NvT056IVj3
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 11, 2019
Wallace says that Smith’s exit is difficult, but the network respects his decision and they are grateful for his contributions.
Shepard Smith said that viewers won’t see him reporting the news anywhere else right away because of an agreement he made with the network when they allowed him to resign in the middle of his current contract, which is extremely rare in the TV business.