Shepard Smith is leaving Fox News Channel after 23 years. His final edition of of Shepard Smith Reporting aired Friday afternoon.
“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter,” Smith said in a statement. “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. 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.”
The turnover, perhaps notably, comes not 48 hours after U.S. attorney general William Barr met privately with media mogul Rupert Murdoch, whose assets include Fox News Channel — and not long after Fox News released a poll showing that 51 percent of voters are in favor of impeaching Trump and removing him from office. The next morning, Trump, as part of a bigger rant, opined, “Fox News doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be.”
Smith joined Fox News Channel at its inception in 1996. He was one of the conservative outlet’s few non-partisan voices, a fact that made him a frequent target of President Donald Trump (not to mention colleagues like Tucker Carlson). And Smith occasionally returned fire.
Vanity Fair reported last month that amid conflicting coverage of the Ukraine call whistleblower by Smith and colleague Tucker Carlson, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and president Jay Wallace “communicated to” Smith that he was to stop attacking Carlson — and if he did it again, “he’s off the air.” Fox News has vehemently denied this. “At no time did anyone — including anyone in management or a third party — speak to Shepard Smith regarding this matter,” a Channel rep said in a statement. “Anything to the contrary is entirely false and wildly inaccurate.”
Under the terms of his exit agreement with Fox News, Smith says he “won’t be reporting elsewhere — at least not in the near future.”
Watch video of Smith’s final sign-off below…
What surprises you more: Smith’s exit, or the fact that he stuck it out for 23 years? Sound off below!