Shepard “Shep” Smith, Fox News’s chief news anchor and host of “Shepard Smith Reporting,” announced at the end of his show on Friday, that he would be stepping down from Fox News effective immediately.
In his farewell address the veteran anchor man, who in recent years has faced tough criticism from not only President Trump, but from within the network itself said:
Even in our currently polarized nation, it’s my hope that the facts will win the day. That the truth will always matter. That journalism and journalists will thrive. I’m Shepard Smith, Fox News, New YorkSmith Farewll Statement.
Smith’s announcement not only stunned viewers, but also colleagues.
Neil Cavuto and John Roberts clearly blind-sided by Shep Smith departure pic.twitter.com/36ijhC8th6— Nicole Lafond (@Nicole_Lafond) October 11, 2019
Smith’s leaving the network, comes just a day after the New York Times reported that Attorney General William Barr met privately on Wednesday evening with media mogul and Acting CEO of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch.
The source told the Times it was unclear what the two discussed at the meeting in Murdoch’s home or if anyone else was present.
Smith in his announcement said that it was his decision to leave saying, “so recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News, after requesting that I stay, they obliged,” he added, “under our agreement I won’t be reporting elsewhere at least in the near future.”
CNN reported that Smith had recently agreed to a long-term contract, so his departure in the middle of his current contract cycle was unusual and could suggest a severe fissure between Smith and Fox management.
Smith’s spokesperson Chris Giglio dismissed speculation that Smith was forced out of Fox News.
The decision to leave was Shep’s and his alone — he will be taking an extended period of time off to be with his family. Following that — who knows — he is not retiring.Giglio statement via CNN.
President Trump a long time critic of Smith was asked about Smith’s departure and said, “that’s too bad,” adding that he had “the worst ratings.”
Watch President Trump's reaction to Shepard Smith leaving Fox News:— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 11, 2019
"It was probably because of bad ratings." pic.twitter.com/NvT056IVj3