Shepard "Shep" Smith (born David Shepard Smith Jr.; January 14, 1964) is an American television news anchor on the Fox News Channel. He serves as the channel's chief news anchor and as managing editor of the breaking news division. Smith is the former host of Fox News' evening newscast, The Fox Report with Shepard Smith, and Studio B. In October 2013, Shepard Smith Reporting replaced Studio B.
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, a K–12 private school in Holly Springs, but completed his senior year of high school in Florida, where he, his mother, and brother moved after his parents separated. He went on to attend the University of Mississippi, where he majored in journalism, but left two credits away from graduation. He frequently returns to the university during college football season and delivered the university's annual commencement address on May 10, 2008.
Smith signed his first television contract with WJHG-TV in Panama City Beach, Florida. He worked as a reporter for WBBH-TV in Fort Myers, reporter/anchor in Miami with WSVN, and as a reporter at WCPX-TV (now WKMG-TV) in Orlando. In Los Angeles, California, he was a correspondent for A Current Affair. He joined the Fox News Channel at its inception in 1996.
Smith has been assigned to cover many major news stories during his career. In 1997, he reported on the death and funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales. In November 2000, he was sent to Florida to cover the Florida ballot counting controversy during the United States presidential election. In 2001, he traveled to Terre Haute, Indiana, to be one of the media witnesses to the execution of Timothy McVeigh. In late August 2005, he spent a little over a week in New Orleans, Louisiana, to provide news reports on the events and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
The Fox Report with Shepard Smith was a top-rated newscast in cable news and was ranked third in U.S. cable news programs. Smith tied for second (along with Dan Rather and Peter Jennings) as the most trusted news anchor on both network and cable news in a 2003 TV Guide poll. In addition to anchoring Fox News Channel's flagship news program, Smith also anchors most prime time news presentations provided by Fox News for the broadcast Fox television network.
On November 19, 2007, The New York Times reported that Smith had signed a three-year contract giving him between US$7 million and US$8 million per year. This contract placed him in the same pay league as Brian Williams of NBC and Charles Gibson of ABC. He renewed his contract with Fox on October 26, 2010 for another three years.
On September 12, 2013, Smith and Fox News announced that, along with another multi-year renewal of his contract, his role in Fox News would shift. He would become the managing editor of Fox News's new breaking news division and the host of Shepard Smith Reporting. Both Studio B and The Fox Report were phased out, and in October 2013 Shepard Smith Reporting began airing in the 3 p.m. ET time slot.
On March 15, 2018, Fox News re-signed Smith to a new multi-year contract.
In 2017, Smith confirmed in a speech that he is gay, stating "I don't think about it. It's not a thing. I go to work. I manage a lot of people. I cover the news. I deal with holy hell around me. I go home to the man I'm in love with." A reporter covering the speech confirmed it, writing, "He is also gay. Smith believes his sexuality is a piece of his personal story, but not the most defining factor."
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