Fox News is temporarily filling in Shepard Smith’s 3 p.m. ET time slot with a rotating group of anchors that includes Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, John Roberts, Brit Hume, Shannon Bream, Bill Hemmer, Jon Scott, and Trace Gallagher, a Fox News spokesperson confirmed on Monday.
Last Friday, Smith announced that he was stepping down and leaving the network immediately. “Shepard Smith Reporting” will now become “Fox News Reporting,” led by the aforementioned group of anchors, until a permanent replacement is found, as The Wrap reported last week.
In an interview with Variety on Monday, Fox News president and executive editor Jay Wallace said that the replacement show will still remain “a solid news hour” with a designated anchor. The executive had also said Smith’s announcement last Friday had been a “tough day for a lot of people” at Fox News.
“The thing about this place, there is a camaraderie, an ‘us against the world’ mentality,” Wallace told Variety. “These are more like familial bonds as opposed to just passing, transactional relationships. That’s why it hit so hard with a lot of people.”
It’s unclear what Smith’s next professional move will be, but the former Fox News anchor said in his sign-off that he had an “agreement” with the network that would prevent him from working at other networks “in the near future.” CNN’s Brian Stelter reported that Smith left because “he had simply had enough” and that, in September, the anchor went to Fox News management to request that he be let out of his contract. (Last year, Smith had signed a multi-year deal with Fox News for an undisclosed length of time or amount of money.)
“The decision to leave was Shep’s and his alone — he will be taking an extended period of time off to be with his family,” Chris Giglio, a spokesperson for Smith, told Stelter. “Following that — who knows — he is not retiring.”
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