In October, Fox News’ longtime mid-day anchor Shep Smith abruptly resigned his position and walked away from the network.
His replacement, Bill Hemmer, recently revealed in an interview that he was stunned when Smith quit and called it a “drop-the-mic moment.”
The old days
Fox News has always had a mix of liberals and conservatives doing its broadcasts and opinion shows. One of the most outspoken liberal voices, however, belonged to Shep Smith.
This upset people because Smith was a news anchor, not tasked with running an opinion show.
So, when he added his digs against Trump or told a story that was positive for conservatives with a disapproving look on his face, viewers became upset, and rightfully so.
Significant pressure was being put on the network and toward the end of his days, Smith was openly jousting with fellow Fox star Tucker Carlson for statements he had made on air.
Apparently, the overall conservative lean of Fox News became too much for Smith, and he suddenly resigned, a move that apparently blindsided his fellow Fox hosts.
Hemmer, himself a longtime Fox news anchor as well, told Newsday that he had “no knowledge beforehand,” and was “shocked” by the sudden departure.
Bright days ahead
Smith’s time at the anchor desk usually meant a massive dip in ratings for Fox News. While Smith’s ratings would generally still outpace those of the liberal-oriented outlets, there was a significant dropoff from viewers.
Hemmer offers a fresh, neutral voice, more along the lines of his colleague, Bret Baier. He has already gone on record to say that he has no intention of taking political sides, which is exactly what a news anchor should do.
Based on his first day behind the desk as Smith’s permanent replacement, it would seem Fox viewers approve.
According to the Daily Caller, Hemmer’s first day on air obliterated the ratings compared to when Smith was behind the desk, so retiring may have been the best thing Smith could have ever done for Fox News.