Longtime Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith on Friday announced on his weekday program that he is leaving the news network.
“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave FOX News and begin a new chapter. After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged,” Smith, known for his critical coverage of President Donald Trump and his administration, said in a statement. “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. I’ve worked with the most talented, dedicated and focused professionals I know and I’m proud to have anchored their work each day — I will deeply miss them.”
Hired by Fox News in 1996, Smith covered breaking news stories for the network for over 20 years.
Fox News president and executive editor, Jay Wallace, said the anchor will leave his post as chief news anchor and managing editor of the outlet’s breaking news department.
“Shep is one of the premier newscasters of his generation and his extraordinary body of work is among the finest journalism in the industry. His integrity and outstanding reporting from the field helped put FOX News on the map and there is simply no better breaking news anchor who has the ability to transport a viewer to a place of conflict, tragedy, despair or elation through his masterful delivery,” Wallace said in a statement. “We are proud of the signature reporting and anchoring style he honed at FOX News, along with everything he accomplished here during his monumental 23-year tenure. While this day is especially difficult as his former producer, we respect his decision and are deeply grateful for his immense contributions to the entire network.”
“Shep Smith has been there from the beginning and was the most talented breaking news anchor I ever saw. Fox News Channel will not be the same without him,” Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume said of the news.
Before joining Fox News, Smith was a Fox News Edge correspondent based in Los Angeles.
Smith’s departure comes as President Trump has ratcheted up his criticisms of Fox News. Just yesterday, the president ripped into the anchor as part of his criticism prompted by the news network’s poll that shows a record 51% of voters say they want him impeached and removed from office.
“Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. But @FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days. With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice & I turned him down (he’s been terrible ever since), Shep Smith, @donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from @CNN), & others, @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be,” the president tweeted.
Smith earned mockery from fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson last month for defending Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano’s opinion that President Trump broke the law during his July 25th telephone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Watch Smith’s final sign-off below: