Shep Smith Departs as Fox News Anchor

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News anchor Shep Smith announced Friday he's leaving Fox News after more than 20 years.

Smith's last day as chief news anchor and managing editor at the network was Friday.

"This is my last newscast here," he said during his show, Shepard Smith Reporting. The timeslot, which begins at 3 p.m. EDT, will be filled by rotating news anchors in a new show called Fox News Reporting.

Smith has a non-compete agreement with Fox News, meaning he won't be switching to another cable network in the near future. He said he plans to spend more time with his family.

"Shep is one of the premier newscasters of his generation and his extraordinary body of work is among the finest journalism in the industry," Fox News executive editor and President Jay Wallace said in a statement.

"His integrity and outstanding reporting from the field helped put Fox News on the map and there is simply no better breaking news anchor who has the ability to transport a viewer to a place of conflict, tragedy, despair or elation through his masterful delivery."

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Smith, who joined Fox News in 1996, was among the voices more critical of the Trump administration at the network, fact checking the president and often debunking conservative talking points. In the past, he feuded with Fox News' opinion contributors, including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham.

"Even in our current polarized nation, it is my hope that the facts will win the day, that the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalists will thrive," he said Friday.

By Danielle Haynes

Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.