David Shepard Smith Jr.
January 14, 1964
|Education||University of Mississippi|
(m. 1987; div. 1993)
|Partner(s)||Giovanni Graziano (2012–present)|
David Shepard Smith Jr. (born January 14, 1964) is an American broadcast journalist for NBC News and CNBC, where he serves as chief general news anchor and hosts The News with Shepard Smith, a daily evening newscast launched in late September 2020. Smith is best known for his 23-year career at Fox News Channel, which he joined at its 1996 inception and where he served as chief anchor and managing editor of the breaking news division. Smith hosted several programs in his tenure at Fox News, including Fox Report, Studio B and Shepard Smith Reporting. In 2017, Smith came out as gay, prompting backlash from some viewers.
Smith left Fox News in October 2019. In a 2021 interview with Christiane Amanpour on her eponymous show in PBS, he stated that his presence on Fox had become "untenable" due to the "falsehoods" and "lies" intentionally spread on the network's opinion shows.
Early life and education
Smith was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, the son of Dora Ellen Anderson, an English teacher, and David Shepard Smith Sr., a cotton merchant. He attended Marshall Academy in Holly Springs. After high school, his parents separated and he moved to Florida with his mother. He studied journalism at the University of Mississippi, where he left two credits shy of a degree to take a reporter job in Panama City, Florida. Smith delivered the university's 155th commencement address on May 10, 2008.
Smith began his career in television with WJHG-TV in Panama City Beach, Florida. After reporting jobs at WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, WSVN in Miami and WCPX-TV (now WKMG-TV) in Orlando, Smith became a correspondent for A Current Affair.
After working as a correspondent for Fox affiliate service News Edge, Smith joined Fox News Channel at its inception in 1996. At Fox News, Smith reported on the death of Princess Diana in 1997, President Bill Clinton's 1998 impeachment trial, the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, the 2001 execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the death of Michael Jackson in 2009.
In 2003, The Fox Report with Shepard Smith was ranked third among the top five U.S. cable news programs, and Smith tied for second with Dan Rather and Peter Jennings as the most-trusted news anchor on both network and cable news. On November 19, 2007, Smith signed a three-year contract for $7–$8 million per year. He renewed his contract with Fox on October 26, 2010, for another three years. On September 12, 2013, he became managing editor of Fox News breaking news division and the host of Shepard Smith Reporting.
In November 2017, Smith infuriated some Fox News viewers when he countered claims that the Obama administration approved a deal allowing a Russian company to buy a Canadian company with uranium mining interests in the US in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation. Smith's reporting put him at odds with colleague and Fox News prime time host Sean Hannity, who had supported the claim against Hillary Clinton.
On July 8, 2020, the business and economic news network CNBC announced Smith would join the network as chief general news anchor and chief general breaking news anchor. Smith serves as the host of The News with Shepard Smith, a primetime general news program that airs weekdays at 7:00 p.m. ET and launched on September 30, 2020. According to a CNBC press release, the program "[aims] to go beyond financial markets, 'to tell rich, deeply reported stories across the entire landscape of global news.'" CNBC had previously aired a similarly-named program in the same time slot, hosted by Brian Williams and later John Seigenthaler, from 2002 to 2004.
In a speech to the International Press Freedom Awards on November 21, 2019, Smith warned of authoritarian governments that make it dangerous and difficult for journalists to do their jobs, saying autocrats have learned to use online tools and social media to shore up their power. At the event, Smith gave $500,000 to the host organization, the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Appearances in film
Smith appeared as himself in the 1997 film Volcano.
Video of Smith anchoring on Fox News during the opening moments of the March 2003 Iraq War was used in the film Fahrenheit 9/11. Additionally, archive footage of Smith anchoring Shepard Smith Reporting covering the 2016 US presidential election was used in the 2019 docudrama Bombshell.
- "CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith" to Premiere Wednesday, September 30 at 7pm ET". CNBC. August 24, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
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- Foggatt, Tyler. "Shep Smith's Fresh Start". The New Yorker. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
- Oliver Darcy and Brian Stelter (October 11, 2019). "Shepard Smith makes shocking announcement that he is leaving Fox News". CNN. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
- Benveniste, Alexis (January 20, 2021). "Shep Smith breaks his silence about why he left Fox News". CNN. Retrieved April 21, 2021.
- Lonas, Lexi (January 19, 2021). "Shep Smith on former employment at Fox News: 'I stuck with it for as long as I could'". TheHill. Retrieved June 25, 2021.
- St. John, Warren (March 28, 2004). "News Reports For Ultra-Short Attentions". The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
- Lynch, Jason (April 28, 2003). "Cable King". People. 59 (16). Retrieved July 22, 2009.
- Diggs, Mitchell (May 1, 2008). "Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith to Deliver Commencement Address May 10". University of Mississippi Newsdesk. Archived from the original on May 11, 2008.
- Cranley, Ellen (October 13, 2019). "How Shep Smith went from local reporter to a controversial Fox News anchor and outspoken critic". Business Insider. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- Briganti, Irena (October 11, 2019). "Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith to Step Down as Chief News Anchor and Managing Editor of Breaking News Unit". Business Wire. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- Rucker, LaReeca (May 2, 2017). "Shepard Smith's journey from Ole Miss to Fox News". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- Gold, Matea (October 15, 2006). "Shepard Smith Plays It Straight on Fox News". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 13, 2020 – via South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
- "Eyewitness Accounts of McVeigh's Execution". ABC News. January 7, 2006. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- "Meet the Hosts of FOX News". XMRadio.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2006.
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- Andreeva, Nellie (October 26, 2010). "Shepard Smith Inks New Fox News Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (September 12, 2013). "FOX News Channel's Shepard Smith to Lead New Breaking News Division as Managing Editor and Chief News Anchor". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on September 15, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013.
- Relman, Eliza (November 15, 2017). "Fox News anchor Shep Smith annihilates his network's favorite Hillary Clinton 'scandal,' the Uranium One deal". Business Insider. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- Lapointe, Joe (November 17, 2017). "Fact and Fiction Showdown: Shepard Smith Versus Sean Hannity". Observer. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
- D'Addario, Daniel (March 15, 2018). "Shep Smith Has the Hardest Job on Fox News". Time. Archived from the original on March 25, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
- Smith, Shepard (October 11, 2019). "Shepard Smith says goodbye to Fox News". YouTube.com. Shepard Smith Reporting. Fox News.
- Boorstin, Julia (July 8, 2020). "Former Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Joins CNBC as chief general news anchor with new evening show". CNBC. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
- Hill, Michael P. (July 8, 2020). "CNBC returns to definitive 'The News' branding for Shepard Smith". NewscastStudio. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
- Alexander, Bryan (November 22, 2019). "Shepard Smith decries". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 22, 2019. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Stelter, Brian (November 22, 2019). "Shepard Smith slams vilification of the press in first remarks since leaving Fox News". CNN. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
- Ricchiardi, Sherry (January 2010). "The Anti-Anchor". American Journalism Review. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- Desantis, Rachel (May 8, 2017). "Fox News' Shepard Smith opens up about his sexuality, says he never thought he 'was in' the closet". New York Daily News. Retrieved May 8, 2017.