SHEP SMITH (HOST): A personal moment now. Gathering and reporting the news has been my life’s work. 33 years, the past 23 right here, since the day we launched Fox News channel in 1996. The opportunities afforded this guy from small-town Mississippi have been many. Fox News has allowed me to travel the country and the world gathering the facts of the day for you. At Columbine, Katrina, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, 9/11, and every life-altering event along the way. I have met leaders, heroes, and victims of all stripes. I've witnessed and reported on the events that shaped our reality. Together with my colleagues we have written a first draft of history and endeavored to deliver it to you while speaking truth to power without fear, or favor, in context and with perspective. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity.
For handing me the breaking news reigns as managing editor, senior correspondent, and chief news anchor for this news network, I am thankful and humbled. I've worked with the most talented, dedicated, and focused professionals I've ever known. They sacrifice endlessly and tirelessly to get the news exactly right and I am so proud of them. I'm honored to have anchored their work each day. I'll miss them and our time together greatly and deeply. So recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News after requesting that I stay they obliged.
Under our agreement, I won't be reporting elsewhere, at least in the near future, but I will be able to see more of Gio and Lucia and our friends and family and then we will see what comes along. This is my last newscast here. Thank you for watching today and over the decades as I traveled to many of your communities and anchored this program, Studio B, and Fox Report, plus endless marathon hours of breaking news. 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.