Current Media Position:
Significance to the Media Industry:
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:
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.
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.