NEW YORK CITY, Oct. 11, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Veteran TV news anchor Shepard Smith is out at Fox News.
Smith announced his resignation Friday afternoon in what he said was his last broadcast for the traditionally conservative news network, his home for the last 23 years.
“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter,” he said. “After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged.”
Fox News President Jay Wallace confirmed Smith’s sudden departure, which reportedly stunned his newsroom colleagues.
“Shep is one of the premier newscasters … We are proud of the signature reporting and anchoring style he honed at Fox News, along with everything he accomplished during his monumental 23-year tenure,” Wallace said.
“While this day is especially difficult as his former producer, we respect his decision and are deeply grateful for his immense contribution to the entire network.”
In his parting on-air segment Smith lavished praise on his former co-workers calling them “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.
Smith’s abrupt resignation comes in the wake of increasingly critical coverage of the Trump White House by Fox News, coverage that has drawn ire of Trump himself.
“FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a SupremeCourt 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 use to be.”
Trump’s tweets came just one day after U.S. Attorney General William Barr held a private meeting with News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch. The meeting fueled speculation that the White House was leaning on Fox managers to rein in Smith or remove him.
A Smith spokesperson released a statement Friday night saying the decision to resign was Smith’s own.
Smith made headlines twice recently by criticizing fellow Fox News personality Tucker Carlson. The first instance was his reaction to Carlson’s statement that white supremacy was “not a real problem” in the United States. Smith later took to the air calling the white power movement “a very serious problem.”
Smith also admonished Carlson for failing to intervene during a segment in which Fox colleague Judge Andrew Napolitano was assailed by one of Carlson’s guests who called him a “fool”.