David Shepard Smith Jr. (born January 14, 1964), known better as Shepard Smith or Shep Smith, is an American television news anchor. He is the former host of Fox Report with Shepard Smith and Studio B weekdays on Fox News Channel. In October 2013, Smith became the host of Shepard Smith Reporting as well as the managing editor of Fox News Channel's Breaking News Division.
Smith hosting Studio B
|Born||David Shepard Smith Jr.
January 14, 1964
Holly Springs, Mississippi, U.S.
|Education||University of Mississippi|
|Notable credit(s)||Studio B
The Fox Report
Shepard Smith Reporting
|Spouse(s)||Virginia Donald (m. 1987–93)|
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. 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.
Smith signed his first television contract with WJHG-TV in Panama City Beach, Florida. He worked as a reporter for WCJB-TV in Gainesville (1985), 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 has been ranked third in the top programs in U.S. cable news. 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. 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 Fox television network.
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 places Smith into the same pay league as anchor Brian Williams of NBC and former anchor Charles Gibson of ABC. Smith renewed his contract with Fox on October 26, 2010, for another three years.
On September 12, 2013, Smith and Fox News announced that, along with another multiyear renewal of his contract, his role in Fox News would shift. He would become the managing editor of Fox News' new breaking news division and the host of Shepard Smith Reporting. 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.
Appearances in filmEdit
Smith married Virginia Donald, a University of Mississippi classmate, in 1987. They divorced in 1993 with no children. In 2017, Smith confirmed in a speech that he is gay, stating about being gay, "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." A reporter covering the speech confirmed this, writing, "He is also gay. Smith believes his sexuality is a piece of his personal story, but not the most defining factor."
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- 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.
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- Andreeva, Nellie (October 26, 2010). "Shepard Smith Inks New Fox News Deal". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 27, 2011.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rucker, LaReeca (May 2, 2017). "Shepard Smith's journey from Ole Miss to Fox News". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved June 2, 2017.