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.[1]

Early life

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.[2][3][4] 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.[2][5]

Journalism career

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9] He renewed his contract with Fox on October 26, 2010 for another three years.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

Appearances in film

Smith has appeared as himself in the film Volcano. Video of Smith anchoring on Fox News during the opening moments of the March 2003 Iraq War was also used in the film Fahrenheit 9/11.

Personal life

Smith married Virginia Donald, a University of Mississippi classmate, in 1987. They divorced in 1993 with no children.[2][3]

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."[13][14] 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."[14]

See also


  1. ^ "Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith to Lead New Breaking News Division as Managing Editor and Chief News Anchor" (Press release). Fox News Channel. September 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2018. 
  2. ^ a b c Lynch, Jason (April 28, 2003). "Cable King". People. 59 (16). Retrieved July 22, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b Ricchiardi, Sherry (January 2010). "The Anti-Anchor". American Journalism Review. Retrieved December 8, 2009. 
  4. ^ Hatfield, William (July 13, 2009). "How Destin Hardee's helped launch Shephard Smith to Studio B at Fox News". The Destin Log. Retrieved December 9, 2009. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Meet the Hosts of FOX News". XMRadio.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2006. 
  7. ^ "Poll ranks NBC's Brokaw most trusted news anchor". USA Today. April 2, 2003. Retrieved April 10, 2008. 
  8. ^ O'Connell, Michael (January 24, 2012). "President Obama's State of the Union: How the Networks Are Covering". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  9. ^ Carter, Bill (November 19, 2007). "Fox Cable Guy Edges Into the Big Pay Leagues". The New York Times. Retrieved May 30, 2008. 
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 26, 2010). "Shepard Smith Inks New Fox News Deal". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 27, 2011. 
  11. ^ 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. Retrieved September 12, 2013. 
  12. ^ D'Addario, Daniel (March 15, 2018). "Shep Smith Has the Hardest Job on Fox News". Time. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018. Retrieved March 24, 2018. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ a b Rucker, LaReeca (May 2, 2017). "Shepard Smith's journey from Ole Miss to Fox News". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved June 2, 2017. 

External links