Might Shepard Smith, who spent more than two decades at the Fox News Channel, eventually wind up at rival CNN?
It does not appear to be out of the question, judging by certain comments made earlier this week.
Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide, indicated that he actually would welcome the opportunity to have Shepard Smith join the CNN team.
“I think Shep’s a great journalist,” he said at a Citizen conference in New York held by CNN, as AOL and other outlets reported.
“When he’s available, he is somebody who is very talented, and I would be very open to talking to him.”
Zucker also took a swipe at Fox News over the notion that the channel has separate news and opinion wings: “There is no difference. I don’t see it that way. I think you’re wrong,” he said to Brian Stelter at one point during the conference. “It’s completely erroneous,” he also said, as The Hollywood Reported pointed out.
Zucker previously called Fox News “state-run television” and said the rival network is “not a journalistic organization,” the same outlet noted.
Earlier in October, Shep Smith — who made it clear in various newscasts and comments that he was not a fan of President Donald Trump — announced his final newscast at Fox in the last moments of his daily program on Friday, October 11. That stunned even some of his closest colleagues.
“The opportunities afforded this guy from small-town Mississippi have been many,” Smith said to viewers that day — after pausing to share “a personal moment.”
He also said, “Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter.”
“After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged … It’s been an honor and a privilege to report the news each day to our loyal audience in context and with perspective, without fear or favor,” he said.
“It’s been an honor and my pleasure. Even in our currently polarized nation, it’s my hope that the facts will win the day, that the truth will always matter, and that journalism and journalists will thrive,” he also said to viewers.
Here’s a tweet sharing that news from a couple of weeks ago:
In a stunning announcement, Shepard Smith announced on his Friday show that after more than two decades at Fox News, he was stepping down as chief news anchor, and leaving the network https://t.co/NGVY3fRlVy
— CNN (@CNN) October 11, 2019
“Shep is one of the premier newscasters of his generation and his extraordinary body of work is among the finest journalism in the industry,” said Jay Wallace, president and executive editor of Fox News Media, in a statement shared with news outlets.
“His integrity and outstanding reporting from the field helped put Fox News on the map and there is simply no better breaking news anchor who has the ability to transport a viewer to a place of conflict, tragedy, despair or elation through his masterful delivery.”
See also these tweets, below — and share your thoughts on the latest news.
Shep Smith’s Social Media Accounts Disappear After Leaving Fox News https://t.co/1faW3lhUpv
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) October 23, 2019
“I think Shep is a great journalist."
CNN President Jeff Zucker says he is open to hiring Shepard Smithhttps://t.co/dm5R42sK1B
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 24, 2019