Shepard Smith, the longtime lead anchor of Fox News, is leaving the network.
Smith has been with Fox News since its launch in 1996 and has stood out as the nonpartisan voice on the conservative channel.
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Fox News President Suzanne Scott, who announced Smith’s departure on Friday afternoon, said the anchor “recently asked us to step down and begin a new chapter. We know this was an extremely difficult decision for him and he made it with much deliberation, care and consideration. While this day is especially challenging for both of us who have worked alongside him for 23 years, we respect his decision and are deeply grateful for his immense contributions to the entire network.”