Shep Smith on why he left Fox: ‘I needed something new’

Former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith has finally decided to announce the reason why he quit his job at the nation’s top-ranking cable news network.

According to the Daily Caller, Smith told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie on Wednesday that “it was time for a change.”

“I needed something new,” Smith, who first left Fox in October 2019, told Guthrie, according to the Daily Caller.

Smith’s new show, The News with Shepard Smith, premiered Wednesday on CNBC.

Quitting Fox

While Smith didn’t outright say it, it was clear to anyone watching that he wasn’t a good fit at Fox News in the age of President Donald Trump.

The anchor left Fox as criticism continued to mount against him from conservatives who complained that Smith was too hard on the commander-in-chief. Perhaps the straw that broke the camel’s back was an attack on Smith from a guest appearing on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight last fall.

According to the Associated Press, host Tucker Carlson “brought on a guest who said Fox’s Andrew Napolitano was a ‘fool’ for analysis offered on Smith’s show.” Smith, for his part, later “said on the air that Carlson’s attack was repugnant,” the AP reported.

Two weeks after that disagreement, Smith was gone.

Starting fresh

Now, the former Fox anchor says he’s excited to start “fresh” with his new gig at CNBC.

“Just because you hit 56 doesn’t mean you can’t start again,” he told Guthrie on Wednesday, as the Daily Caller reported. “I wanted something fresh. I wanted to move forward. We all do. And I found it. And this place is fantastic,” Smith added of his new employer. “I love it here.”

Speaking earlier this week, Smith said his goal with his new show is “to come out and do just the news.”

“We’re not planning to do any analysis in our news hour. We’re going to have journalists, reporters, sound, and video,” Smith vowed, according to the AP. “We’re going to have newsmakers and experts…but no pundits. We’re going to leave the opinion to others. It’s exactly what I’ve been wanting to do. It’s what I’ve been working at for 30 years.”

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