Mediaite is reporting that Shepard Smith's role at Fox News is changing drastically:
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith will expand his role at the network, overseeing a newly-established breaking news division, taking on the role as its managing editor, and continuing his position as chief news anchor.
According to the press release, Smith’s 7 p.m. ET show The Fox Report will now be “incorporated into a breaking news unit where Smith will dedicate his anchoring, reporting and presentation acumen as domestic and international events unfold.”
He will continue anchoring the network’s 3 p.m. ET slot, which will soon become known as Shepard Smith Reporting. According to Fox, this new show will “rely on an extraordinary combination of technologies and social media to bring viewers the latest hard news across all FNC platforms, allowing them to witness how news is gathered.”
Shep is sincerely one of the best all-around newspeople currently working and is absolutely the best in cable news, but chances are you already knew that. Despite keeping a running online tab of his scathing, subversive and generally balls-out brilliant on-air comments -- to say nothing of his general journalistic excellence and role as the sole voice of reason at Fox News -- it took me a long time to come right out and write a full-fledged paean to him. The reason for this is that Shep has always been more than just somebody I watch on TV and whose work I respect, he's an old friend. He and I came up together at WSVN in Miami back in the early 90s and eventually lived right around the corner from each other in L.A., playing poker and drinking beer on the weekends. He's not just a terrific broadcaster, he's a good guy and a good friend.
The idea of putting Shep at the forefront of breaking news coverage at Fox News is, I have to admit, a stroke of genius. While he can handle a scripted show just fine, and does, night after night, where Shep really excels is in an environment where he can be almost entirely off-the-cuff if necessary. I can't stress this enough: In my lengthy career I have never seen anyone handle live, breaking news better than Shepard Smith. The man can ad lib about a blade of grass for an hour if you need him to. He's a producer's dream. You can toss to him with minimal information and just tell him to stretch and he can give you thrilling, informative, factually flawless television for a staggering amount of time.
Shep has always been the shining star of Fox News, no matter your political affiliation. And this just allows him to shine even brighter. Good for him.