TheBlaze/AP – (The Associated Press was the first to report this news): Fox News anchor Shepard Smith is leaving his 7 p.m. ET timeslot to take on a larger role heading up the network’s new breaking news division.
Starting this fall, the new division, with Smith as the main anchor and managing editor, will have the capability to break into any Fox News programming anytime throughout the day, a network statement said.
“Shep is a premier journalist and one of the finest newsmen of the modern era. 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 1960s,” Fox News chairman Roger Ailes said in the statement.
A new studio, known as the “Fox News Deck,” will incorporate “real-time news feeds, digital media newsgathering and social media utilizing advanced, state-of-the-art technology.”
“Learning and reporting the news has been my passion for 25 years. I’m thrilled that Roger is trusting and empowering my team and me to bring the news to our viewers as it happens throughout the day and night. Roger’s forward-looking approach to anchoring and reporting will continue to solidify FNC’s position as the number one cable news network in the country,” Smith said.
Smith will remain in the 3 p.m. ET hour under the renamed and revamped “Shepard Smith Reporting”.
It’s the first announced primetime programming shuffle since the network said in July that daytime anchor Megyn Kelly would be moving to evenings. Kelly has been rumored to be taking Sean Hannity’s 9 p.m. slot.
There was no announcement about who would replace Smith in his 7 p.m. timeslot, or about the rest of the Fox News primetime lineup, but if you do the math, it appears that there is a good chance that Sean Hannity will drop into Shep’s old 7p.m. spot, right before O’Reilly and The Factor?!?
This change is just one more in what appears to be a Fox Cable News re-vamp thus far including Shep Smith, Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity, Gretchen Carlson and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. There have already been quite a few changes over the past few months in the line-up of Fox News contributors, including the addition of Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and the re-signing of Former Alaska Governor and GOP Vice Presidential Candidate, Sarah Palin.
Fox News has some major shake ups going down. In two weeks, Elisabeth Hasselbeck will be joining the cast of Fox and Friends and Gretchen Carlson will be moving to afternoons. Also, Megyn Kelly is prepping for her new primetime show. She will be replacing longtime anchor Sean Hannity, who has remained quiet on the matter in recent weeks.
No one is perhaps more shocked about the Fox News lineup changes than Sean Hannity. After signing a long-term contract with the conservative news network, it was revealed that he will be losing his primetime gig.
Fox has not yet revealed their plans for the seasoned anchor, saying only that Sean Hannity has not been fired. Fox didn’t comment further on the situation… so speculation has been running wild.
This is the second time Hannity has received some bad news in the past few months. The first instance came when the radio network that carries his afternoon talk show announced that it would likely not renew the contracts of both Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.
Don’t worry, Hannity fans. Another major radio network has already hinted that they would distribute his afternoon programs.
Things seem to be going much better for Megyn Kelly. Kelly, who just gave birth to her third child, will be getting a new primetime show.
Kelly will man the 9:00 p.m. time slot as soon as she returns from maternity leave. She technically has until November before she has to return to work, but many analysts believe that she will return much sooner.
The only start date that has been announced is that of Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She will start her career with the conservative news network on September 16. Presumably, Carlson will begin her new show on the same day or close to it.