Catherine Herridge, a beloved investigative correspondent at Fox News, is leaving the network after 23 years to go to work for CBS News.
Media reporters like CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter are taking the moment to gloat, insinuating that Herridge’s departure marks another defection from the network. Shepard Smith recently resigned from Fox News after also working there for 23 years. In recent weeks, the situation grew tense as he began trashing the work of some of the network’s opinion hosts on air. They returned the fire on their programs.
“It’s different from Shep,” an insider told The Mirror. “She actually reported news and the audience liked her. Sad to see her go.”
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society recently gave Herridge a prestigious award.
Media insiders tell me the CBS offer was just too good to pass up. Over the summer, Herridge’s contract lapsed and she was sorting out her future. Everyone I spoke with stressed how well-liked she is within Fox News.
Stelter, who doesn’t pass up a chance to kick Fox News in the teeth on his obviously biased Sunday “Reliable Sources” program in which he consistently bashes President Donald Trump and Fox News, painted a bleak picture about Herridge’s departure.
“Wow, another major departure from the newsroom at Fox News: Catherine Herridge, who’s been with Fox since it launched in 1996, is joining @CBSNews,” he tweeted.
CNN portrayed Herridge’s move like this: “In another major defection from the newsroom of Fox News, Catherine Herridge is joining CBS News as a senior investigative correspondent. ‘I feel privileged to join a team where facts and storytelling will always matter,’ she said.”
But she also said this: “I am grateful to Mr. Murdoch for the opportunity to cover the most impactful stories of the last 23 years, most recently the Special Counsel report and impeachment inquiry. I have received great personal satisfaction from mentoring the next generation of reporters and producers and sharing my journalistic values — the facts matter and enterprise reporting will always win the day.”
CNN’s Oliver Darcy described Herridge’s move as a “massive blow” to the newsroom.
From my reporting, it appears that her Fox News colleagues are still breathing.
Fox News’s Shannon Bream had nothing but kind words for her colleague: “Herridge is relentless in tracking down stories. So happy to see her work being recognized. (And, no, I haven’t convinced her to join Twitter yet.”
After Stelter’s B.S., he wrote that she’d been “in talks” with CBS before Smith bolted.
A defection? Hardly.
Something that is true: News of Herridge’s move comes a day after as many as eight employees at Deadspin quit after G/O media fired the site’s acting Editor-in-Chief Barry Petchesky. Now that is a massive blow. That is a defection.
In a statement, Herridge praised her new employer, which is not an obscene act in the news business: “CBS News has always placed a premium on enterprise journalism and powerful investigations. I feel privileged to join a team where facts and storytelling will always matter.”
Smith’s farewell was markedly different from Herridge’s departure. He had been sparring on air with opinion hosts like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. A Daily Beast report indicated that he had been “sick” of “clashing” with colleagues and wanted out. President Trump didn’t miss a chance to broadside him — in a tweet, he said that even watching “fake news” CNN or One America News Network was better than watching Smith.
On Shep’s show one day about three weeks ago, he abruptly resigned, making that his last day on air. (RELATED: Shepard Smith Out At Fox News)
Smith’s daytime show did not reel in the ratings that the evening programs do.
Fox News Media Executive President Jay Wallace nonetheless praised him on his way out the door, saying, “Shep is one of the premier newscasters of his generation and his extraordinary body of work is among the finest journalism in the industry.”
On air, Smith stated, “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.” (RELATED: Trump Wishes Shepard Smith Good Luck)
Smith will have to wait until his non-compete clause runs out to join another network, which could be years.
To be sure, Herridge’s coworkers will miss her.
“Very disappointed, but I know she’ll continue to do amazing work wherever she is. Good luck Catherine!” tweeted Tammy Bruce, a Fox News contributor and Fox Nation host.
There will always be naysayers — and dense ones at that.