Who Will Replace Shepard Smith on Fox News? Anchor Announces Departure from Network

Longtime Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who has earned a reputation as a fair and respected journalist, announced his departure from the network on Friday, leaving millions of viewers to wonder who will fill his shoes.

A Fox News release on Smith's decision to step down as chief news anchor and the breaking news unit managing editor stated only that "a series of rotating anchors will host the 3 p.m./ET time slot until a new dayside news program is announced."

FOX News told Newsweek in a statement that "the 3 p.m. hour will remain a news hour called Fox News Reporting with Jon Scott and Trace Gallagher among the anchors filling in." The network added that the name of the permanent program "has not been discussed" and it would be wrong to speculate.

Smith announced his departure from President Donald Trump's favorite network a day after Trump mentioned Smith in a tweet blasting Fox News for releasing a poll showing record support for his impeachment, as well as its personalities who have been critical of him.

"@FoxNews is also much different than it used to be in the good old days. With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a Supreme ... Court Justice & I turned him down (he's been terrible ever since), Shep Smith," Trump tweeted, "@donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from @CNN ), & others, @FoxNews doesn't deliver for US anymore."

Smith did not go into detail on the reason for his decision, but in his final sign off said, "Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged."

He added about his exit: "Under the agreement, I won't be reporting elsewhere at least in the near future."

Full video: Shepard Smith's final sign off from Fox News pic.twitter.com/5fgyM81Gbj

— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 11, 2019

Smith was a frequent Trump critic at a network where many anchors and hosts defend and speak favorably of the president, including Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade.

Though he has generally applauded Fox News, Trump has recently roasted the network when its reports have placed him in a bad light.

On August 28, Trump tweeted that he watched Fox News "heavily promoting the Democrats" and said the network "couldn't even land a debate" for 2020 Democratic candidates.

"Fox hires 'give Hillary the questions' @donnabrazile, Juan Williams and low ratings Shep Smith," Trump tweeted. "HOPELESS & CLUELESS! They should go all the way LEFT and I will still find a way to Win - That's what I do, Win. Too Bad!"

Shepard Smith Fox News Exit
Anchor Shepard Smith at Fox News Channel studios on September 17, 2019, in New York City. Steven Ferdman/Getty

In his final segment after 23 years with the network, Smith praised his colleagues and said he has been allowed to report the news "in context and with perspective" and "without fear or favor."

He concluded with a message of hope that his profession and people in it will thrive, seemingly providing a contrast to Trump's "fake news" messages.

"It's been an honor and my pleasure. Even in our currently polarized nation," Smith said, "It is my hope that the facts all win the day, that the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalists will thrive."