Shepard Smith may report some items that anger viewers of Fox News Channel, but that hasn’t kept the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news outlet from retaining him in its lineup.
Fox News said Thursday that it signed the anchor to a new multi-year deal. Smith and Fox last drew up new employment terms in 2013, when Fox News made him its primary breaking-news anchor for the network, and created a new studio, the “Fox News Deck” that he could use to interrupt regularly scheduled programming as events warranted.
“Shepard Smith is an exemplary journalist whose skill in anchoring breaking news is unrivaled,” said Rupert Murdoch, the network’s executive chairman, in a statement. “His powerful storytelling on both television and digital platforms has elevated our entire news gathering process.”
Smith has been at the network for more than two decades, and was one of the network’s original hires. In recent years, he has renewed his contract with Fox News in three- or four-year intervals.
The anchor has developed a reputation for telling it like it is, no matter what some of Fox News’ most popular primetime personalities might say in the course of their shows. During his tenure, he has debunked a conservative theory suggesting Hillary Clinton had benefited from a U.S. uranium deal and, more recently, told his viewers the ongoing investigation into Russian influence over the 2016 presidential election is not a Democratic hoax, despite comments by President Trump stating it was.
Smith has maintained he has different duties than his primetime counterparts on Fox. “Everybody’s got a job to do. Hannity is trying to get conservatives elected. And he wants you to listen to him and believe what he believes,” Smith told The Huffington Post in 2016. “And I’m disseminating facts. It’s really apples and teaspoons. What we do is so different. He’s an entertaining guy who has an audience that he serves, and I deliver the news.”
Before taking the helm of the breaking news division with his “Shepard Smith Reporting,” Smith anchored two programs, “The Fox Report” and “Studio B.” Among the events he has anchored are: the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 and its aftermath; the financial crisis of 2008; the 2003 war in Iraq; and the terrorist attacks of 9/11. “I am incredibly proud to be part of a group of journalists who helped build the Fox news division from scratch 22 years ago and extremely thankful for the opportunity to continue to lead our breaking news coverage for years to come,” Smith said in a statement.
Prior to joining Fox News, Smith worked as a Los Angeles-based correspondent for Fox News Edge, a news service for affiliates. He has worked at various local Florida stations, including WSVN-TV (FOX) in Miami; the former WCPX-TV (CBS) in Orlando; WBBH-TV (NBC) in Fort Myers, FL; and WJHG-TV (NBC) in Panama City, FL, where he began his television career. He attended the University of Mississippi and is a native of Holly Springs, MS.