October 11, 2019 / 9:35 PM / 10 months ago

Shepard Smith exits Fox News after 23 years

FILE PHOTO: A Fox News channel sign is seen on a television vehicle outside the News Corporation building in New York City, in New York, U.S. November 8, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

(Reuters) - Shepard Smith, chief news anchor and breaking new managing editor at Fox, will leave the network, Fox News Media said on Friday.

“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged. Under our agreement, I won’t be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future,” Smith said on his Friday show.

Smith, one of the channel’s original hires in 1996, has been on the receiving end of U.S. President Donald Trump’s disapproving tweets, along with the Fox Corp owned network, owing to his critical coverage of the president.

On Aug. 7, Trump tweeted “Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show on @FoxNews”. More recently, on Oct. 10, Trump named Smith in a tweet that criticized the channel after a Fox news poll showed a slight majority of voters favoring his impeachment and removal.

“While this day is especially difficult as his former producer, we respect his decision and are deeply grateful for his immense contributions to the entire network,” Jay Wallace, president and executive editor of Fox News Media, said in a statement.

A series of rotating anchors will host the 3PM/ET time slot until anew program is announced, the company said.

Reporting by Nishara Karuvalli Pathikkal; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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