Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, a frequent target of President Trump’s attacks, is stepping down, the network confirmed Friday.
“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,” Smith said in a statement.
“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.”
Fox News Network’s Signature Daytime Newsman
Smith was among Fox’s first hires upon launching in 1996 and he became the network’s signature daytime newsman. He often acted as the anchor to enter other broadcasts to helm coverage of breaking news.
“Even in our currently polarized nation, it’s my hope that the facts will win the day,” Smith said as he signed off his final broadcast. “That the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalists will thrive.”
Jay Wallace, president and executive editor of Fox News Media, said, “Shep is one of the premier newscasters. His extraordinary body of work is among the finest journalism in the industry.” He also added; “While this day is especially difficult as his former producer, we respect his decision. We are deeply grateful for his immense contributions to the entire network.”
Smith also publicly clashed with Tucker Carlson. Criticizing the Fox News prime time host for failing to defend their colleague Judge Andrew Napolitano. He was called a “fool” by Joe diGenova a guest on Carlson’s show.
Smith also made headlines for opposing fellow Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who declared in August that white supremacy is “not a real problem” in America. Smith said the issue is “without question a very serious problem.”
Fox anchor Sean Hannity, a staunch Trump supporter who’s clashed with Smith on air, tweeted, “I’ve always said there is nobody better at breaking news than Shep Smith. He has always done great things and I know he will continue to do so.”
Fox News’ senior political correspondent Mike Emanuel also tweeted that he was shocked by the news that Smith is leaving. “It was an honor leading off his final show at Fox News. I had no clue this was the last time,” he said.