Yesterday was Shepard Smith’s last day at Fox News Channel.

Smith, who has been a fixture at Fox since the network began operations in 1996, announced his departure at the end of his afternoon show – saying, in part:

“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. 

“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”.

Did Shepard Smith leave because his obvious dislike of President Trump convinced Fox to force him out?  Not at all likely, since he has been attacking Trump for years with no repercussions at all – a little factoid the people who claim Fox is a conservative-only venue somehow neglect to notice.

Did he leave because he got a better deal at one of the other cable networks?  Not if you believe – of all people – CNN’s Brian Stelter, who tweets that “Shep has agreed to a non-compete, which means he’s not joining CNN/MSNBC anytime soon”

Did he leave because he got into a pitched battle with Prime Time host and one of Fox’s most valued assets, Tucker Carlson, and – according to a report at Vanity Fair (that has been denied by the network) – was told to either knock it off or take a hike?  While there’s no way to know for sure, I’d put that as the single most likely reason.

Regardless, however, Shepard Smith is out – to be replaced by…..?????  I guess we’ll find out who the new permanent, or maybe interim, host will be on Monday.

Should be interesting….

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