Oct 11, 2019

Shep Smith steps down at Fox News

Shep Smith, Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Longtime Fox News anchor Shep Smith announced on Friday that he is stepping down from his position as Fox News' chief news anchor, managing editor of the network’s breaking news unit and anchor of his weekday news show, Shepard Smith Reporting. Smith has been with the network for 23 years.

Why it matters: His departure comes as a rift grows wider between daytime news anchors and primetime opinion hosts at Fox.

Details: Smith's last broadcast was Friday. The network sent a press release ahead of his final remarks about his departure on his show.

  • “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," he said in a statement.
  • In his final broadcast remarks, Smith thanked the network, and said he appreciated the opportunities that afforded him to "travel the country and the world gathering the facts for you."

Fox News personalities seemed shocked by the decision. Neil Cavuto was speechless after Smith's final remarks. "I don't know what to say ... A better newsman you cannot find." John Roberts said he felt like he got hit by a subway train.

Be smart: The news comes just days after Attorney General William Barr met privately with Fox Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch, per The New York Times. Details about the context of the meeting were not reported.

Yes, but: CNN reports that Smith asked Fox leadership to get out of his contract in September, thus disproving any assertion that the meeting between Barr and Murdoch had anything to do with his departure.

The big picture: The President has become frustrated with Fox News' coverage in recent months, and has many times tweeted critically about Shep Smith and other Fox News personalities.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The cracks in Trump’s GOP shield

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump’s mockery of coronavirus masks, his false claims about the dangers of voting by mail and his insinuations that a cable TV nemesis was involved in a murder are testing more high-profile Republicans' willingness to look the other way.

The big picture: Republicans learned a long time ago how dangerous it is to alienate Trump’s base — which is why any hint of disagreement, even a whisper, is so remarkable when it happens.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

The scene near the 5th police precinct during a demonstration calling for justice for George Floyd in Minneapolis on Saturday. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between law enforcement and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.