Fox News Colleagues Shocked, Saddened by Shepard Smith’s Departure

October 11, 2019 Updated: October 11, 2019

Fox News personalities were stunned after anchor Shepard Smith announced on the air Friday that he’s leaving the network after 23 years.

“I first worked with Shep on my first assignment at Fox News almost 23 years ago. It was a total shock today to find out he’s leaving,” Fox News anchor Bret Baier wrote on Twitter. “He anchored breaking news -fast-moving events —better than anyone. I wish him well in whatever lies ahead.”

Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto, whose show began immediately after Smith made the announcement, didn’t know what to say.

“A better newsman you probably cannot find,” he said, via Mediaite. “A bigger, more emotionally connected to human kind you cannot find. So Shepard, I don’t know what the heck you’re planning to do or where you go, but I just know you’ll be great at doing it, and you deserve the best that life has to offer.”

Other Fox News stars, including Sean Hannity, weighed in on the announcement.

“I’ve always said there is nobody better at breaking news than Shep Smith. He has always done great things and I know he will continue to do so. Looking forward to seeing Shep crush it in whatever he does next,” he wrote.

Fox’s Geraldo Rivera added: “Goodbye @ShepNewsTeam Shep, you’re a great newsman and you’ll be missed. Safe travels Matey, fair winds and a following sea.”

How It Happened

Smith, 55, made the announcement live on the air and Fox sent out a press release.

“After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged,” Smith said in a statement, adding that under the agreement, he “won’t be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future.”

“The opportunities afforded this guy from a small town in Mississippi have been many,” he added. “It’s been an honor and a privilege to report the news each day to our loyal audience in context and with perspective.”

He added: “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.”

Fox News chief Jay Wallace, who was once Smith’s producer, also gave 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.”