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The Journal Gazette

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Saturday, October 12, 2019 1:00 am

Shepard Smith leaves Fox News Channel

Associated Press

NEW YORK – Shepard Smith, whose newscast on Fox News Channel seemed increasingly an outlier on a network dominated by supporters of President Donald Trump, abruptly quit after working at Fox since it started in 1996.

Smith said at the end of his daily newscast Friday that he had asked the network to let him out of his contract and it had agreed.

Even in the current polarized environment, Smith said “it's my hope that the facts will win the day, that the facts will always matter and journalism and journalists will thrive.”

Neil Cavuto, who anchors the broadcast following Smith's, looked shocked after the announcement.

“Whoa,” Cavuto said. “Like you, I'm a little stunned.”

Smith's departure comes one day after Attorney General William Barr met privately with media mogul Rupert Murdoch, founder of Fox News. Trump has been increasingly critical of personalities on Fox News that he views as disloyal.

On his afternoon newscast, Smith had frequently given tough reports debunking statements made by Trump and his supporters – even the Fox News opinion hosts that rule the network's prime-time lineup.