Breaking: Shepard Smith has signed a new multi-year deal with Fox News Channel in which he will become the primary breaking news anchor for the network. In the process, he will lose his 7pmET “Fox Report,” while his 3pmET program “Studio B” will now be known as “Shepard Smith Reporting.”
In addition to the 3pm hour, Smith, who made his name with breaking news coverage, will now be the breaking news anchor for other Fox News programs. His new role will include a new studio, known as The Fox News Deck. Smith joined Fox News at launch in 1996. He began anchoring “Fox Report” at 7pm, 14 years ago tomorrow.
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“Shep is a premier journalist and one of the finest newsmen of the modern era,” says Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who came up with the concept. “He will exemplify the ethos that FOX News is when and where the news is, as it happens, no longer bound by a traditional evening format conceived in the 1960’s.” Ailes hinted at the changes during a 21st Century Fox shareholder meeting in August. “Shep and I have been working quietly on something we will roll out in September on how news is presented, a new way to deliver news,” Ailes said.
Smith’s new deal, according to insiders, is second only to Bill O’Reilly‘s in terms of compensation.
This new deal sets in play other changes coming to Fox News primetime. Drudge reported last month that Megyn Kelly‘s new primetime show would air at 9pm, paving the way for Sean Hannity to take over the 7pm hour.
We’re told the staffs for “Studio B” and “Fox Report” had an all-hands meeting this afternoon where they got the news. The changes will happen this Fall. Smith is having major shoulder surgery and will be out on medical leave starting tomorrow.
FNC’s release, after the jump…