Shep Smith Announces Exit From Fox News

His final sign-off for the network offers few clues as to the reason for his departure

Shep Smith
Shepard Smith announced his departure from Fox News today.
Steven Ferdman/Getty Images
By Tobias Carroll / October 11, 2019 4:58 pm

Shep Smith’s time as Fox News’ chief news anchor has come to an end. Actually, Shep Smith’s time at Fox News is at an end, full stop. Smith announced today that he would be leaving the network in a decision that surprised many, according to a report from The New York Times. Smith’s exit came after clashing with several of the network’s other prominent personalities, including Tucker Carlson, making his departure not entirely unsurprising.

As Michael M. Grynbaum reported for the Times:

Last month, Mr. Smith was sharply critical of Mr. Carlson. On his show, “Shepard Smith Reporting,” Mr. Smith said that it was “repugnant” that a guest on Mr. Carlson’s show was allowed to call a regular Fox News contributor, the legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, “a fool” for saying that President Trump’s request for a favor from the Ukrainian prime minister constituted a crime.

Smith’s concluded his final broadcast for the network on a valedictory note. “Together with my colleagues, we’ve written a first draft of history,” he said. 

Smith’s comments indicated that his departure from the network was his decision. And before his final sign-off, he made a comment that could be interpreted as a commentary on the current political situation in the United States: “Even in our currently polarized nation, it’s my hope that the facts will win the day, that the facts will always matter, that journalism — and journalists — will thrive.” 

Given Smith’s distinctive position within Fox News’s broadcast lineup, where both he and the network go from here will be news in its own right. 

And his exit from the network may well have repercussions in other avenues of political life as well. 

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