‘It Was Time For A Change’: Shepard Smith Opens Up About Why He Left Fox News

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Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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CNBC anchor Shepard Smith opened up about why he left Fox News during an interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie Wednesday.

Smith’s new show “The News with Shepard Smith” premiered Wednesday at 7 p.m. and follows his abrupt exit from Fox News in October 2019. Smith was one of Fox’s early hires when the network launched in 1999 and more recently began to face criticism from President Donald Trump and some conservative viewers.

“It was time for a change,” Smith said of his decision to leave Fox and move over to CNBC. “I needed something new. Just because you hit 56 doesn’t mean you can’t start again. I wanted something fresh. I wanted to move forward. We all do. And I found it. And this place is fantastic. I love it here.”

Smith continued on to discuss Tuesday’s presidential debate, noting that “we’ve not seen the like of that before.” He added that “it wasn’t what we’re used to” and “there’s no muscle memory for covering that” as journalists. (RELATED: Shepard Smith’s CNBC Show To Premiere In September)

The former Fox News anchor also reminisced on his history as a reporter with Hoda Kotb. The two worked at competing Florida local networks in the 1980s and Smith said it “often … felt like Hoda would get the big interview.”

“You knew what everybody knew about Hoda?” Smith said of Hoda. “She’s the nicest, most genuine person you’ll come across. She hasn’t changed one bit in those 32 years. It’s a fact, Hoda. It’s the truth.”