Sure has been one heck of a news week. And it ain't over yet.
On air Friday afternoon on Fox News, anchor Shepard Smith (Shep Smith) told viewers he has requested that management release him from his contract, and says Fox has granted this request.
"Even in our polarized nation, it's my hope that the facts will win the day," he said in an on-air farewell.
Full video: Shepard Smith's final sign off from Fox News pic.twitter.com/5fgyM81Gbj
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) October 11, 2019
"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."
The unexpected departure takes place just a day or two after Fox big boss Rupert Murdoch is reported to have had dinner with Donald Trump's manifestly corrupt attorney general and dirtywork-doer Bill Barr.
Surely not related.
Why did he leave?
"Tensions with Fox's opinion shows was the breaking point for Shep Smith, a well-placed source confirms" to Brian Stelter at CNN.
[PHOTO: FOX News Channel's Shepard Smith anchoring Studio B, 15 November 2007, WIKIMEDIA]
Neil Cavuto and John Roberts clearly blind-sided by Shep Smith departure pic.twitter.com/36ijhC8th6
— Nicole Lafond (@Nicole_Lafond) October 11, 2019
Sources directly familiar tell me many Fox News and Fox Business staffers were "shocked" when Shep Smith announced his departure on @foxnews, some were visibly upset. He was escorted out by security, per sources.
Fox plans to have a set of rotating anchors host his time slot. https://t.co/FfW2QUNaoD
— Jo Ling Kent (@jolingkent) October 11, 2019
JUST IN: On air, Shepard Smith says he has asked to be released from his Fox News contract, a request Fox has granted.
"Even in our polarized nation, it's my hope that the facts will win the day…" he says in an on-air farewell.
— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) October 11, 2019
"It feels like death in the news division," a source told me of Shep Smith's shock departure. The person said staffers at the network are "shocked" and that some were crying. "At least we had him," the person said. https://t.co/eyAg5g4ldM
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 11, 2019
Sorry, but I've never been a fan of Shep Smith. He made a LOT of money from this thoroughly corrupt network, acting as cover for their propaganda, and unless he was stupid the whole time he knew that's what his purpose was.
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) October 11, 2019
Shepard Smith, whose newscast on Fox News Channel often debunked statements made by Fox's own opinion hosts, says he is leaving the network. https://t.co/YIoeMvZ86R
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 11, 2019
9. Three sources familiar with Shep Smith's Fox News deal tell me he's leaving behind a contract valued at $15 million per year.
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) October 11, 2019
Statement from Fox, refuting what @jolingkent tweeted: "Shep's exit from the building was planned and executed by Shep with Fox's complete approval and the full support of Fox News – he was not remotely escorted out."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) October 11, 2019