Fox News host Shepard Smith is leaving the network, both parties announced in a statement Friday.
Smith had hosted the afternoon program “Shepard Smith Reporting.”
The program on Friday, during which he announced his departure live, was his last.
Smith said in a statement that the decision to leave was his own.
Sources also confirmed to Mediaite that Smith was not fired.
“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter,” Smith said in the statement.
#BREAKING: Shep Smith stepping down at Fox News
Smith: “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.” pic.twitter.com/RVC1ojCS12
— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) October 11, 2019
“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,” he added.
He also announced the decision on the air at the end of his show.
— SomewhereUSA (@karey_USA) October 11, 2019
“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 journalists will always thrive,” he said on the air.
According to a statement from Fox provided to The Western Journal, “a series of anchors” will fill in during what had been Smith’s timeslot until a permanent replacement is found.
In the statement, Jay Wallace, the president and executive editor of Fox News Media, praised Smith.
“Shep is one of the premier newscasters of his generation and his extraordinary body of work is among the finest journalism in the industry,” Wallace said. “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,” the statement read.
“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.”
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