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Shepard Smith Bio


A photo of Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith

Shepard Smith once toiled in small market television before rising to become one of the best-known news anchors in the world.

Photo © Getty Images

Current Media Position:

Anchor of The Fox Report and Studio B with Shepard Smith on Fox News Channel.

Significance to the Media Industry:

Critics who blast Fox News Channel for its politically conservative programming usually spare Shepard Smith. That's because he's seen as delivering a straight newscast without the commentary of other Fox News Channel hosts.

Shepard Smith has a unique delivery style. He found his broadcast voice through being more conversational and informal than a typical TV news anchor. His stories don't sound scripted, but adlibbed as if he were talking to the viewers.

That persona separates him from the anchors at the broadcast networks, who still sound as though they are simply reading the news into the camera. Nielsen ratings show that Smith's programs are some of the most watched among the cable news channels.

Shepard Smith's Early Career:

Shepard Smith climbed the ladder of local TV news, building his career from small DMA stations until he could make his big jump to the national stage. Unlike many reporters who criss-cross the country to get to the top, Smith's work in local TV was spent entirely in Florida.

He got his start at WJHG in Panama City, Florida, before moving to WBBH in Fort Myers. Both are NBC affiliates.

Then he worked for stations in much larger markets -- WCPX, (now WKMG) the CBS station in Orlando, and the cutting-edge Fox affiliate in Miami, WSVN. Millions of viewers throughout Florida had already watched Smith before he appeared nationally.

Smith got his big break when he was hired as a reporter for the syndicated newsmagazine program A Current Affair. He also reported for Fox News Edge, which is the service that provides national news stories for local Fox affiliate newscasts.

Smith already had a relationship with Fox when News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch decided to start a cable news channel to compete with CNN and MSNBC. Smith was there when Fox News Channel launched in 1996.

Career Highlights:

As anchor of Fox News Channel's flagship newscast, Shepard Smith has been in a position to offer breaking news coverage of all the world's most important stories.

His background covering news in Florida was valuable during the recount of the 2000 presidential election results, which determined whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would be our next president. Smith's Gulf Coast family roots provided him a unique, personal perspective when covering Hurricane Katrina, which devastated parts of Louisiana and his native Mississippi.

Smith was also one of only two TV reporters to witness the Timothy McVeigh execution for the Oklahoma City bombing. He's also reported extensively from the Middle East.

Personal Information:

Shepard Smith was born on January 14, 1964, in Holly Springs, Mississippi. He was a journalism major at the University of Mississippi but left to start his journalism career before he could graduate.

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