In a sudden move on Oct. 11, Shepard Smith said that after more than two decades at Fox News, he was stepping down as chief news anchor and leaving the network, CNN reported.
"This is my last newscast here," Smith said, adding that he was "eternally grateful" to Fox for the opportunities it has afforded him. Recently, Smith had engaged in a verbal battle with Fox personality Tucker Carlson.
In 2017, Smith came out as a gay, media outlets reported.
Deadline reported that Smith had been a frequent target of President Donald Trump's attacks, after Smith criticized the president at certain points in his administration.
Smith's abrupt departure also happened just hours after Attorney General Bill Barr met with Fox News Channel owner Rupert Murdoch at the media mogul's New York City residence. However, Smith spokesman Chris Giglio said that "there is no truth to the rumor about the Barr meeting having anything to do with Shep's departure."
Smith had been at Fox News for 23 years, since its launch in 1996. He ended his last broadcast by saying, "Even in our currently polarized nation, it's my hope that the facts will win the day. That the truth will always matter. That journalism and journalists will thrive."