ATLANTA (CelebrityAccess) — On Friday, Fox News revealed that Shepard Smith will step down from his role as Chief News Anchor and Managing Editor of the network’s breaking news unit and Anchor of Shepard Smith Reporting at the conservative news network.
Smith’s exit was announced by Jay Wallace, President & Executive Editor of FOX News Media, who said that Friday’s edition of Shepard Smith Reporting was his final broadcast with the 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. 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,” Smith said in a statement released on Friday.
While many of his FNC colleagues have often been vocal and seemingly unabashed cheerleaders of President Donald Trump since he took office, Smith often provided more balanced coverage, despite frequently drawing Presidential criticism on Twitter.
The day before Smith announced his partner, the President called out Smith, along with Democratic operative Donna Brazille in a tweet that claimed “FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days” and claiming that “FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be.”
News of Smith’s exit from FNC comes also just 18 months after the news network announced it had signed a multi-year deal to extend his tenure at Fox.
Smith, who originally joined Fox as one of the network’s first hires in 1996 has become a key figure in the network’s news lineup. Before taking the helm of the breaking news division with the launch of Shepard Smith Reporting, Smith anchored The FOX Report and Studio B, both of which ranked number one in their respective timeslots.
In this role, he covered stories such as the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 along with the subsequent manhunt and ultimate capture of the Tsarnaev brothers; the financial crisis of 2008; the War in Iraq (2003); the War in Afghanistan (2001), as well as the murderous terrorist attacks and devastating aftermath of 9/11.
Prior to joining FNC, Smith served as a Los Angeles-based FOX News Edge correspondent, reporting on a wide range of stories for the FOX affiliate news service, including the crash of TWA Flight 800, the Montana Freeman standoff, and the Oklahoma City bombing.
He also did stints as a reporter for WSVN-TV (FOX) in Miami, the former WCPX-TV (CBS) in Orlando, WBBH-TV (NBC) in Fort Myers, FL and WJHG-TV (NBC) in Panama City, FL where he began his television career.
“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. 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,” Wallace said.