'News Stars' Will Fill Shepard Smith's Slot, Says Fox News President (EXCLUSIVE)

Click here to read the full article.

Shepard Smith has left the Fox News building, but his hour will remain staffed by employees from the network' news division.

Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, Shannon Bream, Martha MacCallum, Bill Hemmer and John Roberts are among the Fox News Channel news anchors who will do a stint in the 3 p.m. hour vacated late last week by Shepard Smith, the veteran anchor whose departure stunned Fox News staffers as well as many media observers. Fox News executives will likely unveil a new, news-focused hour in the timeslot next year with a specific anchor, Jay Wallace, president and executive editor of Fox News Media, told Variety in an interview. Trace Gallagher, a Los Angeles-based correspondent, will kick off a stint at 3 p.m. today, he said.

"This is going to remain a solid news hour, with our best news stars," Wallace said, adding: "Journalism is a huge part of the mandate here."

Wallace praised the network's news-side staff as Smith's surprise departure, announced Friday, has prompted a heightened buzz of social-media speculation about the place of traditional newsgathering at the Fox Corp. outlet, which attracts one of TV's most dependable audiences for opinion-based programs such as "Hannity" and "Fox & Friends." Viewers and critics have noticed a recent tug-of-war between the journalists who fill most of the daytime schedule at Fox News and the opinion hosts who typically hold sway in primetime. Smith had in recent weeks feuded on air with primetime host Tucker Carlson. He said in an on-air grace note delivered at the end of his final program Friday that he had come to the decision on his own.

"It was a tough day for a lot of people here," acknowledged Wallace, who spent time as Smith's producer. "The thing about this place, there is a camaraderie, a 'us against the world' mentality," he added. "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."

He indicated Fox News would consider its own news staffers for the new 3 p.m. news program, but also suggested the network could be open to an external candidate. "We aren't rushing into it," he said. Using a rotating lineup of anchors "lets us figure out what works well for us" and "figure out what works for these times." in the

Asked about what seems to be a division between Fox News journalism and opinion branches in recent weeks as news of an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump has taken over the headlines, Wallace said the company's policy is to keep spats off the air. "Fighting on air is an absolute no-go for us," he said. In addition to recent bickering between Carlson and Smith, Fox News' late-afternoon program "The Five" has gained notice in recent weeks for heated discussions between liberal panelist Juan Williams and other members of the on-air team.

"Emotions can run high, and they do at times, so they do," he added. "Our guidance has always been to deal with this - if you have a problem with someone, pick up the phone. These are sharp people. Why do you want to parade this in front of everyone? Our audience doesn't want to see it."

And he indicated there is a growing focus on giving the network's news-side staff more room to roam. Journalists can find new avenues for their work on the recently revamped digital outlets for Fox News or Fox Business, he said, in addition to Fox Nation, the subscription-based streaming service launched in late 2018. Wallace said he hopes to bring reporters to cover smaller beats in Washington - areas other than the White House or Congress. "It is important for us to find some of those smaller beats , where we could not afford to have people in the past."

He maintained the value of journalism to Fox News' viewers, noting that the network's coverage of elections and testimony to Congress typically draws bigger audiences than most rivals. He also pointed to the 2017 launch of "Fox News @ Night," an 11 p.m. news program with Shannon Bream; the hire of 30 staffers as part of a revamp of the digital operations of Fox Business; and upgrades made to news studios in New York, and, soon, Washington D.C. And he said Fox News had hired younger staffers such as Trey Yingst, a foreign correspondent who has pressed the White House on certain stories; Ellison Barber; and Jacqui Heinrich, a general assignment reporter.

Fox News in 2019 finds itself in a unique place. President Trump gives the bulk of his interviews to the network's opinion hosts, including Jeanine Pirro. And then he has been known to excoriate the network when its news side airs stories that don't flatter him, including a recent Fox News poll showing that more Americans are standing behind the impeachment inquiry. "It is an interesting time for us, because of the president and what he has done," said Wallace.


Best of Variety

More Related News

Ivanka Trump Tells Her Dad: Don
Ivanka Trump Tells Her Dad: Don't Tweet the Whistleblower's Name!

Photo Illustration by Kristen Hazzard/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyFor weeks, Donald Trump has known the name of the alleged whistleblower who filed the anonymous complaint in August and sparked the impeachment inquiry bedeviling this administration.Since learning the name, the president has gossiped on numerous occasions about this individual's biography and alleged political biases with confidants, friends, lawyers, administration officials, family, and cable news personalities, according to four people with knowledge of the conversations.He's spoken to so many people behind the scenes about the whistleblower, many of those close to the president are genuinely surprised he hasn't already...

Fox News Host:
Fox News Host: 'If You Love Something, Do You Let Someone Pee on It?'

Fox NewsDuring a Tuesday afternoon Fox News discussion on the San Francisco district attorney vowing not to prosecute quality of life crimes amid a growing homelessness issue in the city, Fox News host Jesse Watters turned to his colleagues to ask a very serious question. "If you love something, do you let someone pee on it?"Over the past few months, Fox News has devoted countless segments to depicting Democratic-led cities like Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles as "liberal wastelands" full of homeless drug-addicted "zombies." Much of the coverage has focused on public urination and defecation. Tuesday's broadcast of Fox News' roundtable show The Five gave us yet another one of...

MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski on Why Michael Bloomberg Should Buy Fox News: 'He Does Have the Money'

MSNBC's "Morning Joe" went over the pundit class' reactions on Monday to news that former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg might hop into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.Co-host Mika Brzezinski shared Axios reporting that said Bloomberg's decision to file the necessary paperwork was just a "trial balloon to gauge interest," then moved on to his poor internal polling and the suggestions raised by other Beltway insiders for what he should do instead of run.Also Read: Michael Bloomberg Prepares to Join 2020 Presidential Race as a DemocratPolitical thinkers from Washington Post conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin to Brookings Institute senior fellow Tom Wright and...

'A circus and a hoax': how rightwing media are covering impeachment

Televised impeachment hearings will probably spur more negative news cycles for Trump. Except on conservative mediaThe Fox News offices in New York City, 11 October 2019. Photograph: Andrew Kelly/ReutersTelevised public impeachment hearings on Donald Trump start on Wednesday and are likely to grip America with a litany of damaging testimony.Transcripts of private hearings already show witnesses testifying about the same basic scenario: Trump wanted Ukraine to investigate his potential rival in the 2020 election Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had worked in the country. That has spurred weeks of negative news cycles for Trump. When those same witnesses are grilled live on television it...

Fox News Contributor Causes Scene When She Names Alleged Whistleblower on Air
Fox News Contributor Causes Scene When She Names Alleged Whistleblower on Air

Fox News contributor Mollie Hemingway caused a scene on Sunday morning when she purposely named the alleged whistleblower at the center of the impeachment inquiry against President Trump, seemingly breaking the network's policy of identifying the person.Amid a concerted effort by Trump's allies to publicly out the whistleblower who filed the complaint about Trump's infamous July 25 call with the Ukrainian president, right-wing media outlets have touted an online report purportedly sharing the identity of the person. Mainstream media outlets and social media platforms, meanwhile, have refrained from spreading the person's name.Fox News had reportedly also instructed its employees to not...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Entertainment