A source close to Fox News management said the thinking among network brass was that the lucrative evening ratings outweighed the need to keep Smith happy while paying him $15 million a year for his daytime role that did not bring in as many viewers.
Smith was among Fox’s first hires upon launching in 1996 and he became the network’s signature daytime newsman, often acting as the anchor to enter other broadcasts to helm coverage of breaking news like the 2015 Paris attacks and the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri.
Throughout the Trump era, Smith took on a “rogue” role at the network as Fox News became overtly pro-Trump in its commentary and news coverage. In many instances Smith even fact-checked the right-wing conspiratorial musings of his own colleagues, resulting in not-so-subtle sparring with Fox stars like Sean Hannity.
As a result, Smith has prompted backlash from the president and many of the network’s viewers, who overwhelmingly tune in to the channel’s conservative programming.
The weekday 3 p.m. block is still labeled as "Shepard Smith Reporting" on Fox News' official website. Until the network names a permanent replacement, it will become an hour-long news show titled "Fox News Reporting," featuring a rotating cast of anchors, the network announced in a news release. Trace Gallagher will anchor the show on Monday.
Gallagher began at Fox in 1996 and serves as the network's chief breaking news correspondent.