FOX News original Shepard "Shep" Smith will be leaving the self-proclaimed news network after 23 years, making the announcement during his Friday show – which will be his last.
Here's a look at final sign off from Smith (who had been with the network since 1996), followed by his official statement:
Full video: Shepard Smith's final sign off from Fox News pic.twitter.com/5fgyM81Gbj
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 11, 2019
"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."
While some may be surprised by the news of Smith departure, others are surprised the respected achor was able to last as long as he did – especially at a "news network" that started hard-right partisan and never looked back. Smith was one of the rare few who didn't work off of talking points from The White House and was willing to speak truth-to-power. FOX News – and Smith specifically – have come under "Twitter attacks" from Donald Trump over their reporting.
Whether or not that had impact on Smith's decsion remains unclear.
Here's what Jay Wallace, President & Executive Editor of Fox News Media, had to say in a statement:
"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."