Fox News host Shep Smith, one of the few voices on the network occasionally willing to buck the Trump message, announced at the end of his show Friday that he’s stepping down from his job.
“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News,” Smith said. “After requesting that I stay, they obliged. Under our agreement I won’t be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future.”
Shep Smith announces he's leaving Fox News pic.twitter.com/SwK2SWY64g
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 11, 2019
As his show ended and the camera opened on Neil Cavuto, host of the following show “Your World,” Cavuto sat shocked. After an astonished pause, he said that he was “stunned” and “heartbroken,” calling Smith a “decent human being” with a heart “big as Texas.”
“Shepherd, I don’t know what the heck you are planning to do or where you will go but I just know you will be great at doing it and you deserve the best that life has to offer,” Cavuto said emotionally. “I’m sorry if I’m a little shell-shocked here but I’m going to miss my buddy.”
Cavuto’s first guest on the show, chief White House correspondent John Roberts, also expressed bafflement, saying he felt like he got hit by a “subway train.”
The exact reason for Smith’s ouster is unclear, but Attorney General William Barr met with Fox Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch Wednesday night as President Donald Trump has been ramping up his criticism of the network.
Neil Cavuto and John Roberts clearly blind-sided by Shep Smith departure pic.twitter.com/36ijhC8th6
— Nicole Lafond (@Nicole_Lafond) October 11, 2019
Read the network’s statement here via a Daily Beast reporter:
Here’s the release pic.twitter.com/vA7seKodZM
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) October 11, 2019