I did not see that one coming!
And apparently neither did many at Fox News, when Shepard Smith reportedly caught even staffers offguard when he made the announcement.
Take a look and watch it here:
Here's more, from CNN:
"This is my last newscast here," Smith said, adding that he was "eternally grateful" to Fox for the opportunities it has afforded him.
Smith said that he recently asked Fox to allow him to leave and begin a "new chapter."
"After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged," Smith said, adding that under the agreement reached he "won't be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future."
Such a departure, occurring suddenly on a Friday afternoon in the middle of an anchor's contract cycle, suggest a severe fissure between Smith and Fox management, though both sides spoke favorably of one another when announcing the exit.
Smith was the face of Fox's news division which has recently found itself a remarkable state of conflict with the network's opinion hosts and commentators. In the Trump era, and particularly in the last several weeks, the people working for the news division have seen their work undermined repeatedly by their opinion colleagues.
Smith was no exception. In late September, Tucker Carlson, a pro-Trump host, mocked Smith when he stood up for Judge Andrew Napolitano. Napolitano was called a "fool" by a guest on Carlson's show for saying Trump had committed a crime, and Smith had said the attack was "repugnant."
In his exit, Smith alluded to the tension between the opinion and news divisions, saying that the news division has always "endeavored to deliver" the news "while speaking truth to power, without fear or favor, in context and with perspective."
There wasn't a lot of love-loss shown by many online:
And from USA Today:
Shepard Smith, the Fox News anchor who made headlines for on-air criticisms of President Donald Trump, has departed the conservative-leaning news network.
During his 3 p.m. show on Fox, Smith announced his decision and said: “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.”
Smith has been with the network since its inception in 1996.
Fox News' President Jay Wallace called Smith "one of the premier newscasters of his generation."
"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," Wallace added.
In August 2019, Trump slammed Smith and analyst Juan Williams. He also criticized the network for hiring Donna Brazile, the former interim DNC director. Brazile forwarded questions to Hillary Clinton during the Democratic primary season.
"Fox hires 'give Hillary the questions' @donnabrazile, Juan Williams and low ratings Shep Smith. HOPELESS & CLUELESS! They should go all the way LEFT and I will still find a way to Win - That’s what I do, Win. Too Bad!" Trump tweeted.