Shepard Smith Steps Down From Fox News After 23 Years With The Network

Ryan Ledendecker

In a stunning announcement from long-time Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on Friday, the anchor declared during his show that it would be his last broadcast with the network.

According to Mediaite, sources reportedly said Shepard's exit from the conservative-leaning cable news network was his own personal decision and not the result of being fired. Because of an agreement he has with the cable news giant, Smith won't be reporting for another network in the near future.

Smith delivered an emotional send-off at the end of his Friday broadcast and spoke to what he hopes the future of journalism will look like.

"Even in our currently polarized nation, it's my hope that the facts will win the day, that the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalist will thrive," Smith said.

Smith was well known at the network for his extensive breaking news coverage, often being the first to cover devastating mass shootings and other tragedies across the nation. His viewpoints often counter those of President Donald Trump, making him at least somewhat unpopular with Fox News' primary viewing audience.

According to Hollywood Reporter, Smith explained that he recently asked network executives if he could leave the network to start a new chapter of his life, though it's unclear what the veteran anchor has plans for next.

"After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged. The opportunities afforded this guy from small town Mississippi have been many," Smith said.

He also made sure his fans and his co-workers knew how much they were appreciated during his time on the show.

"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."

Fox News president Jay Wallace praised the long-time face of the network for his professionalism and dedication to the job, calling Smith's work on the network "extraordinary."

Smith's last contract with the network was in 2013, when then-head of the network, Roger Ailes, praised Smiths journalistic abilities.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Smith and Fox News primetime host Tucker Carlson recent entered into a public spat over what one of Carlson's guests said about popular Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, calling him a "fool" over his analysis of the growing Ukraine phone call controversy.

Smith condemned Carlson's guest for the comment and while he didn't name Carlson specifically, Smith slammed the host for allowing such an insult against Napolitano, long-time friend of the network.