Shepard Smith LEAVES Fox News Channel, Effective Immediately

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No, this is not a drill, folks. In one of the more stunning piece of media news in recent memory, the Fox News Channel’s Chief News Anchor and Managing Editor of breaking news unit Shepard Smith announced Friday afternoon at the conclusion of Shepard Smith Reporting that he will be leaving FNC, effective immediately.

A FNC original from its inception in 1996, Smith had hosted past shows ranging from the Fox Report to Studio B to even the Fox broadcast network’s The Pulse. Smith also broke into Fox and FNC programming when breaking news warranted, such as the November 2015 Paris terror attacks.

 

 

A straight news anchor with a penchant to lean leftward that ingratiated him with the anti-Fox crowd and liberal media elites, Smith revealed in a press release that he “recently” asked that he be “allow[ed]....to leave FOX News and begin a new chapter” and “[a]fter requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged.”

With the release emailed out during the final commercial break, Smith announced to viewers at 3:57 p.m. Eastern that he had “a personal moment” to share about leaving a profession in which “[g]athering and reporting the news has been my life’s work” following “33 years, the past 23 right here, since the day we launched Fox News Channel in 1996.”

After expressing gratitude for “the opportunities afforded this guy from small-town Mississippi,” Shep thanked his colleagues as being “the most talented, dedicated, and focused professionals I've ever known” who “sacrifice endlessly and tirelessly to get the news exactly right and I am so proud of them and I am honored to have anchored their work each day.”

Then came the heart of the matter, which was his immediate departure, that he had a non-compete “agreement....at least in the near future” before making any other moves, a word about journalism (which will surely be trumpeted by the anti-Fox cabal), and a goodbye (click “expand”):

So recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay they obliged. Under our agreement, I won't be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future, but I will be able to see more of Gio and Lucia and our friends and family and then we’ll see what comes along. This is my last newscast here. Thank you for watching today and over the decades as I traveled to many of your communities and anchored this program, Studio B, and Fox Report, plus endless marathon hours of breaking news. It's been an honor and my pleasure. 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 journalist will thrive. I'm Shepard Smith. Fox News, New York.

The task of following the sudden departure fell to Your World and host Neil Cavuto, who was shocked at the announcement (click “expand”):

Whoa. I'm Neil Cavuto and like you, I’m a little stunned and a little heartbroken. I don't know what to say. Shepard Smith, as I said, just a few days ago on this very network, a decent human being, a heart as big as Texas. I didn't say Texas at the time. Maybe just all of Manhattan.  Wow. I don’t know. A better newsman you probably cannot find. Again, a bigger, more emotionally connected to humankind, you cannot find. So, Shepherd, I don't know what the heck you are planning to do or where you will go, but I just know you’ll be great at doing it and you — you deserve the best that life has to offer. So I'm sorry if I'm a little shell-shocked here but I'm going to miss my buddy. Alright. Onto the news at hand as Shepard would say because breaking news does change everything and we’ve got a lot of it going on right now[.]

Cavuto tried to dive into news regarding a preliminary trade agreement between China and the United States. In tossing to a similarly emotional John Roberts, Cavuto said: “I apologize of being a little shell-shocked on this other development here, but take it away, sir.”

“I've just been trying to compile my thoughts too, Neil. I walked out here to do the hit and suddenly got hit by a subway train. Holy mackerel. Let's try to get to the news at hand as I digest the other news that we just heard. Oh my God. It’s completely shocking,” Roberts replied.

After Roberts, Cavuto reverted back to Shep before moving on with the rest of the show because “I can’t ignore the elephant in the room and the elephant who’s leaving the room” which has left him “bummed” and a “little shell-shocked.”

Later, Cavuto ended the show with some brief but poignant thoughts on his friend:

Just a final few words if I may, in the last 30 seconds we have about my friend and colleague of some 23 years, Shepard Smith, leaving this network. He defined this network in the early days. As reporter second-to-none and a journalist who always tried to get the story right and hold truth to power and, of course, there's always the back and forth between those conservatives do get upset, liberals who want to know more and we — we politicize everything. So, I can only talk from the human being perspective. A damn good one. We’ll miss you, Shep.

Back to the press release, the FNC press release said that, going forward and starting on Monday, “a series of rotating anchors will host the 3PM/ET time slot until a new dayside news program is announced.” 

The release also hailed Smith as not only an original hire, but someone who “has covered virtually every major news story over the course of his career as both a correspondent and an anchor, playing a fundamental role in the network’s innovation of the way news is presented.”

To see the relevant transcript from FNC’s Shepard Smith Reporting and Your World on October 11, click “expand.”

FNC’s Shepard Smith Reporting
October 11, 2019
3:57 p.m. Eastern

SHEPARD SMITH: A personal moment now. Gathering and reporting the news has been my last work. 33 years, the past 23 right here, since the day we launched Fox News Channel in 1996. The opportunities afforded this guy from small-town Mississippi. Fox News has allowed me to travel the country and the world, gathering the facts of the day for you. At Columbine, Katrina, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, 9/11, and every life altering event along the way. I’ve met leaders, heroes, and victims of all stripes. I've witnessed and reported on the events that shaped our reality. Together with my colleagues, we’ve written a first draft of history and endeavored to deliver it to you while speaking truth to power, without fear or favor, in context and with perspective. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity. For handing me the breaking news reins is managing at her, senior correspondent, and chief news anchor for this news network, I am thankful and humbled. I've worked with the most talented, dedicated, and focused professionals I've ever known. They sacrifice endlessly and tirelessly to get the news exactly right and I am so proud of them and I am honored to have anchored their work each day. I will miss them and our time together greatly and deeply. So recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay they obliged. Under our agreement, I won't be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future, but I will be able to see more of Gio and Lucia and our friends and family and then we’ll see what comes along. This is my last newscast here. Thank you for watching today and over the decades as I traveled to many of your communities and anchored this program, Studio B, and Fox Report, plus endless marathon hours of breaking news. It's been an honor and my pleasure. 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 journalist will thrive. I'm Shepard Smith. Fox News, New York. Goodbye. 

(....)

FNC’s Your World
October 11, 2019
4:00 p.m. Eastern

NEIL CAVUTO: Whoa. I'm Neil Cavuto and like you, I’m a little stunned and a little heartbroken. I don't know what to say. Shepard Smith, as I said, just a few days ago on this very network, a decent human being, a heart as big as Texas. I didn't say Texas at the time. Maybe just all of Manhattan.  Wow. I don’t know. A better newsman you probably cannot find. Again, a bigger, more emotionally connected to humankind, you cannot find. So, Shepherd, I don't know what the heck you are planning to do or where you will go, but I just know you’ll be great at doing it and you — you deserve the best that life has to offer. So I'm sorry if I'm a little shell-shocked here but I'm going to miss my buddy. Alright. Onto the news at hand as Shepard would say because breaking news does change everything and we’ve got a lot of it going on right now including a trade truce that is on and, well, stocks that are just taking off. The word right now of a tentative deal is sending the Dow up about 300 plus planes, although it had been up more than 500 points at one point. Now, the President is in the Oval Office. He is with the vice-premier of China. He is also with his treasury secretary, his trade ambassador, they’re all gathered in there, he’s taking questions from reporters, but of this on a day where the markets seem to think that a truce is better than nothing and this looks like a substantial truce at that. So, I want to get to read from John Roberts at the — at the White House on all this. John, I apologize of being a little shell-shocked on this other development here, but take it away, sir. 

JOHN ROBERTS: I've just been trying to compile my thoughts too —

CAVUTO: Yeah.

ROBERTS: — Neil. I walked out here to do the hit and suddenly got hit by a subway train. Holy mackerel. Let's try to get to the news at hand as I digest the other news that we just heard. Oh my God. It’s completely shocking.

(....)

4:05 p.m. Eastern

CAVUTO: And before I gauge reaction from I guess you are, I can’t ignore the elephant in the room and the elephant who’s leaving the room, Shepard Smith leaving this network. After 23 years, he's one of the originals as am I. He just didn’t age. I did. He didn't get a pound. I gained maybe 5 pounds. [GUEST LAUGHING] So, why are you laughing? So I'm — I’m with you, little shell-shocked. I apologize if I'm not my normal, razor-sharp self. But let's get reaction, not to the Shep news. I’m happy for him. Now, don’t get me wrong. I'm just a little bit bummed, selfishly for myself. All right. 

(....)

4:59:42 p.m.
32 seconds

CAVUTO: Just a final few words if I may, in the last 30 seconds we have about my friend and colleague of some 23 years, Shepard Smith, leaving this network. He defined this network in the early days. As reporter second-to-none and a journalist who always tried to get the story right and hold truth to power and, of course, there's always the back and forth between those conservatives do get upset, liberals who want to know more and we — we politicize everything. So, I can only talk from the human being perspective. A damn good one. We’ll miss you, Shep.

NB Daily Fox News Channel Your World Other FNC Shep Smith Neil Cavuto John Roberts
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