Could this have really been why?
Shepard Smith thought he was tough enough to go back and forth in a war of words with Fox News prime time host Tucker Carlson.
But it now appears that his minor feud with the opinion host was one of the primary reasons Smith asked to leave the network, The Daily Beast reported.
A Fox insider told The Daily Beast that Smith was sick of being attacked by his primetime colleagues and asked for a way out of his contract. An effort was made to appease him, the insider said, but he ultimately decided to leave Fox behind.
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.
Smith was among Fox’s first hires upon launching in 1996 and he became the network’s signature daytime newsman, often acting as the anchor to enter other broadcasts to helm coverage of breaking news like the 2015 Paris attacks and the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri.
But “being attacked by his primetime colleagues” was not a thing until this week when, after he attacked Carlson, the host hit back.
It was the only time in recent memory that that happened to Smith and it was an incident that he provoked on his show.
One would think that if you are a person that is sensitive to being attacked you would then refrain from attacking someone.
“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter,” Smith said in a statement.
“After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged. 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.”
“Shepard Smith will step down from his role as Chief News Anchor and Managing Editor of the network’s breaking news unit and Anchor of Shepard Smith Reporting, announced Jay Wallace, President & Executive Editor of FOX News Media.
“This afternoon’s edition of Shepard Smith Reporting was Mr. Smith’s final show, during which he addressed his decision. A series of rotating anchors will host the 3PM/ET time slot until a new dayside news program is announced,” Fox News said in a statement.
And it appears that Carlson was the only one who Smith had an ornery relationship with as many of his colleagues, including Sean Hannity, praised him.
“I’ve always said there is nobody better at breaking news than Shep Smith. He has always done great things and I know he will continue to do so. Looking forward to seeing Shep crush it in whatever he does next,” he said.
I’ve always said there is nobody better at breaking news than Shep Smith. He has always done great things and I know he will continue to do so. Looking forward to seeing Shep crush it in whatever he does next.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) October 11, 2019
“I first worked with Shep on my first assignment at @FoxNews almost 23 years ago. It was a total shock today to find out he’s leaving.
“He anchored breaking news -fast-moving events —better than anyone. I wish him well in whatever lies ahead,” Fox News colleague Bret Baier said.
I first worked with Shep on my first assignment at @FoxNews almost 23 years ago. It was a total shock today to find out he’s leaving. He anchored breaking news -fast-moving events —better than anyone. I wish him well in whatever lies ahead
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) October 11, 2019
“Shep Smith has been there from the beginning and was the most talented breaking news anchor I ever saw. Fox News Channel will not be the same without him,” Brit Hume said.
Shep Smith has been there from the beginning and was the most talented breaking news anchor I ever saw. Fox News Channel will not be the same without him. pic.twitter.com/hKgE4oWx8P
— Brit Hume (@brithume) October 11, 2019
“Goodbye @ShepNewsTeam Shep, you’re a great newsman and you’ll be missed. Safe travels Matey, fair winds and a following sea,” Geraldo Rivera said.
Goodbye @ShepNewsTeam Shep, you’re a great newsman and you’ll be missed. Safe travels Matey, fair winds and a following sea.
— Geraldo Rivera (@GeraldoRivera) October 11, 2019
“When I first came to @foxnews Shep Smith was the very first anchor I ever worked with. He gave me my nickname “Janice Dean the Weather Machine” and made me feel right at home.
“I will always be grateful for his kindness and generosity. Nobody does “Breaking News Now” like him,” Janice Dean said.
“He was also the first to bring me into his office when I was diagnosed with MS and asked ‘how can I help, JD?’
“It’s a sad day for all of us. I love you, Shep. Thank you for making us all better broadcasters, and giving me the greatest opportunity to be a part of your show.
“I see many of you are bringing your ‘politics’ into this. I worked with the man. He’s a human being that was part of a family. This is not about who you voted for.
“Try just being kind for a moment and wish him well. Go bark about politics somewhere else. He was great at his job,” she said.
Src: The Federalist Papers