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Shepard Smith, longtime anchor of "Shepard Smith Reporting," is stepping down from his role at Fox News, the network announced Friday.

Authorities investigating NH church shooting
12 Ekim 2019 - 19:29

Shepard Smith, longtime anchor of "Shepard Smith Reporting," is stepping down from his role at Fox News, the network announced Friday.

Smith was the chief news anchor and managing director of Fox's breaking news unit as well as the anchor of his eponymous show. He joined Fox News in 1996.

The anchor has gained attention in recent years for not being afraid to criticize the Trump administration. Smith has often been a target of President Donald Trump's tweets -- as recently as on Thursday.

...Court Justice & I turned him down (he’s been terrible ever since), Shep Smith, @donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from @CNN), & others, @FoxNews doesn’t deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I’m President!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2019

Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show on @FoxNews. Actually, whenever possible, I turn to @OANN!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
(MORE: On Fox News town hall, Gillibrand attacks network over abortion coverage)

Friday afternoon's episode of his show will be the final one, the network said.

"PHOTO:Richard Drew/AP, FILE
In this Jan. 30, 2017, file photo, Fox News Channel chief news anchor Shepard Smith appears on the set of "Shepard Smith Reporting" in New York.

"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," Smith said in a statement. "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."

(MORE: Trump lashes out at Fox News over Buttigieg town hall)

"Shep is one of the premier newscasters of his generation and his extraordinary body of work is among the finest journalism in the industry," Fox News President and Executive Editor Jay 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."

"PHOTO:Steven Ferdman/Getty Images, FILE
In this Sept. 17, 2019, file photo, Shepard Smith is shown on the set of "Shepard Smith Reporting" at Fox News Channel Studios in New York.

News of Smith's departure seemed to have caught others at Fox News off guard. Video spread on social media of anchor Neil Cavuto visibly surprised, on-air, as he reacted to the news.

Shepard Smith's sudden departure definitely seems to have caught the rest of Fox News' staff off guard. Neil Cavuto is literally speechless and shell-shocked after watching Smith's sign off

— Salvador Hernandez (@SalHernandez) October 11, 2019

Fox News' Bret Baier said the news "brought about a little shock" for them and shared his farewell broadcast on Twitter.

Today brought about a little shock for us here at #FoxNews as our colleague Shepard Smith announced it would be his last broadcast. We wish him nothing but the best-- View his goodbye below:

— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) October 11, 2019



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