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Veteran broadcast journalist Shepard "Shep" Smith sent shockwaves throughout newsrooms
across America when he announced his departure from Fox News in an on-air goodbye message
on October 11th, 2019.
"This is my last newscast here.
Thank you for watching today and over the decades."
After 23 years with the network, this is the real reason why Shepard Smith is leaving Fox
News.
Fox didn't want to lose him
Before you get the idea that Fox News wanted Shepard Smith out for his unbiased reporting
and occasional criticism of other network figures, think again.
Journalist Brian Stelter reported for CNN:
"Executives at the network leaned on him to stay, but to no avail.
He announced his departure on the air, then exited the building immediately, clearly emotional
about saying goodbye to his television home of twenty years."
Smith's own take echoed this reporting, with the journalist noting how Fox News was eager
for him to remain at the network:
"Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News, and after requesting that
I stay, they obliged."
Although we can't imagine it was always smooth sailing between these parties, it's reasonable
to assume Fox News was sad to see one of their most reputable reporters sign off.
But they didn't beg him
Fox News executives reportedly didn't work overtime to keep Smith, because his ratings
were supposedly lower than some of his colleagues, such as political commentators Sean Hannity
and Tucker Carlson.
Despite Fox News' efforts to keep Smith on board, they ultimately felt it wasn't worth
their time to go above and beyond to do so.
According to The Daily Beast,
"A source close to Fox News management said the thinking among network brass was that
the lucrative evening ratings outweighed the need to keep Smith happy while paying him
$15 million a year for his daytime role that did not bring in as many viewers."
Still, this doesn't mean his bosses didn't admire him.
Jay Wallace, the president and executive editor of Fox News Media, released a statement that
said, in part:
"Shep is one of the premier newscasters of his generation and his extraordinary body
of work is among the finest journalism in the industry.
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."
It wasn't the ratings
Smith's ratings were good overall, despite not matching those of the primetime opinion
hosts.
Business Insider reported:
"Fox News is the most-watched cable news network, and Smith beat out his 3 PM time slot competitors
on other networks, including CNN and MSNBC, by double-digit Nielsen Media Research ratings."
Still, this truth didn't stop President Donald Trump from bashing Smith for his so-called
bad ratings.
The Hill reported that Trump told reporters:
"I don't know.
Is [Smith] leaving?
That's a shame.
Is he leaving because of bad ratings?
If he's leaving, I assume he's leaving because he had bad ratings.
He had the worst ratings at Fox."
Trump eventually added that he wished Smith well.
Clashes with opinion hosts
It's safe to say that Shepard Smith wasn't necessarily happy with Fox News' primetime
opinion block, telling Time in 2018:
"We serve different masters.
We work for different reporting chains, we have different rules.
They don't really have rules on the opinion side.
They can say whatever they want.
If it's their opinion.
I don't really watch a lot of opinion programming.
I'm busy."
The news anchor also said he would "never" work for the opinion division, adding,
"I get it that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining.
I get that.
I don't work there.
I wouldn't work there.
I don't want to sit around and yell at each other and talk about your philosophy and my
philosophy.
That sounds horrible to me."
It's reasonable to theorize that Smith was tired of working at a network where some colleagues
didn't have to play by the same rules as the news division.
Sean Hannity dissed him
The feeling is mutual with at least some of the Fox News opinion hosts.
In 2017, Sean Hannity slammed Smith, stating on his radio show:
"Shep is a friend.
I like him.
But he's so anti-Trump.
He went off on a rant last week.
That's fine.
But it's different."
In response to Hannity's jab, Smith released a statement to Mediaite:
"Sometimes facts are displeasing.
Journalists report them without fear or favor."
A Tucker Carlson feud boiled over
The ongoing feud between Smith and Tucker Carlson reached a breaking point in September
2019.
Carlson's guest, lawyer Joe diGenova, slammed one of Smith's guests, Judge Andrew Napolitano,
for calling President Donald Trump's phone call with the President of Ukraine "criminal."
DiGenova referred to Judge Napolitano as a "fool," a jab Carlson didn't challenge.
The exchange didn't sit well with Smith.
"Attacking our colleague, who is here to offer legal assessments, on our air, in our work
home, is repugnant."
Carlson fired back on his own show:
"Unlike maybe some dayside hosts, I'm not very partisan, and it was a sincere question."
As for Fox News' response?
Network execs reportedly didn't like Smith's takedown.
Vanity Fair reported in late September 2019 that Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and President
Jay Wallace supposedly told Smith to, quote, "stop attacking Carlson," with a source claiming,
"They said if he does it again, he's off the air."
A spokesperson for the network later "denied that management had any direct conversation
with Smith."
Smith reportedly felt like Fox News didn't have his back during the feud.
Brian Stelter reported for CNN,
"The network's lack of a vocal defense for Smith following the incident bothered him
and the whole episode factored into his decision to leave, according to a person familiar with
the matter."
Committed to the truth
Shepard Smith has repeatedly emphasized his commitment to reporting the facts.
“Together with my colleagues, we've written a first draft of history, and endeavoured
to deliver it to you while speaking truth to power."
This is one possible reason why he decided to leave Fox News.
"Sources have said to me he wasn't in it for the money.
He was in it to try to counter all of the nonsense the opinion hosts would air all the
time."
Smith echoed this sentiment in an interview with Time, stating about the direction of
Fox News:
"I wonder if I stopped delivering the facts, what would go in its place in this place that
is most watched, most listened, most viewed, most trusted?
I don't know."
Considering the considerable criticism Fox News has taken for the nature of its reporting
over the years, it would be understandable if Smith couldn't hold up his end of the bargain
any longer.
One staffer told CNN that "it was clear [Smith] wasn't happy, on air and off air," while another
claimed, "it probably just got to be too much."
He'll be okay
Although it's sad to see an accomplished journalist depart from Fox News in a seemingly sudden
fashion, it's likely Shepard Smith will be okay no matter what.
The Mississippi native will likely have plenty of work opportunities, with his rep explaining
to Deadline,
"He will be taking an extended period of time off to be with his family.
Following that - who knows - he is not retiring."
Despite Smith's statement noting how his exit deal with Fox News will keep him off the air
for a bit…
"Under our agreement, I won't be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future."
...an insider told The Daily Beast that Smith, quote, "expects to have a new job within a
year."
And Smith retains respect from his newsroom colleagues, with many staffers telling CNN
he was a "role model."
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The Real Reason Why Shepard Smith Is Leaving Fox News

103 タグ追加 保存
林宜悉 2019 年 11 月 17 日 に公開
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