BREAKING: Shepard Smith LEAVES Fox News Channel

Fox News Channel announced on Friday that Shepard Smith is leaving the network. Today’s Friday afternoon episode of Shepard Smith Reporting was his last and will be temporarily replaced by a series of rotating anchors until a new program is announced.

Shepard Smith joined Fox in 1996 after beginning his television career a decade earlier at WJHG-TV in Panama City Beach, Florida.

He was one of Fox News’ original hires in 1996.

Here’s Shep Smith’s statement over his departure:

“A personal moment now. Gathering and reporting the news has been my life’s 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 have been a many. Fox News has allowed me to travel the world gathering the facts of the day for you,” Smith stated.

“At columbine, Katrina, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, 9/11, and every life altering event along the way. I have met leaders, heroes, and victims of all strides. I’ve witnessed and reported on the events that shaped our reality,” he went on. “Together with my colleagues, we have written a first draft of history and endeavored to deliver it to you while speaking truth to power without fear or favor it in context and with perspective. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity. For handing me the breaking news reigns as managing editor, senior correspondent, and chief news anchor for this news network, I am thankful and humbled.”

Jay Wallace, president and executive director of FOX News Media stated the following:

“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,” the statement went on. “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.”

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