Shepard Smith steps downs from Fox News Channel

National News

FILE – In this Jan. 30, 2017, file photo, Fox News Channel chief news anchor Shepard Smith appears on the set of “Shepard Smith Reporting” in New York. Smith, whose newscast on Fox News Channel seemed increasingly an outlier on a network dominated by supporters of President Trump, says he is leaving the network. He has worked at Fox News Channel since the network started in 1996. In a statement, Smith said he had asked the company to let him leave. He gave no reason for the seemingly sudden decision. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Shepard Smith, considered a moderate voice on Fox News Channel, announced Friday that he’s stepped down from the cable news network.

Smith, who has been at the network for more than two decades and was one of its original hires, said the decision to leave was his own.

“Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged,” he said on air.

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Later, in a statement released by FNC, Smith thanked the network for allowing a “guy from small-town Mississippi” to have a seat at one of America’s most powerful anchor chairs.

“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter. After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged,” he said in the statement.

“The opportunities afforded this guy from small-town Mississippi have been many. It’s been an honor and a privilege to report the news each day to our loyal audience in context and with perspective, without fear or favor. I’ve worked with the most talented, dedicated and focused professionals I know and I’m proud to have anchored their work each day — I will deeply miss them.”

Smith has been a critic of President Donald Trump, most recently ripping him for insisting, incorrectly, that Alabama was a target of Hurricane Dorian.

“Everybody makes mistakes,” Smith said on air at the time. “Instead … the president blamed the media for his own inaccurate warning and then started to rewrite history on the matter.”

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