Fox Newsman Shepard Smith, whose ‘Fox Report’ at 7/6c weeknights is the sixth-highest rated show in cable news, just re-upped for three more years with FNC.
Smith himself broke the news on, of all places, ‘The View,’ the lightning-rod ABC talk show where Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly made statements earlier this month that were deemed so offensive, two of the co-hosts – Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar – walked off the show. (No one walked off during Smith’s segment on Tuesday.)
Smith, 46, was re-signed by FNC for an undisclosed sum, but published reports place his previous deal (inked three years ago) at $7 million to 8 million annually, making him one of the highest-paid news anchors on TV, according to Variety.
Smith’s sixth-ranked nightly newscast drew an average audience of 1.5 million viewers in the 3rd quarter of this year, according to figures released around the end of September.
Smith’s other show, ‘Studio B,’ airing weekday afternoons, was ranked 10th out of all cable news show with just over a million viewers per telecast. On ‘The View,’ Smith noted that embattled commentator Juan Williams – who was dropped by NPR for remarks he made on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ about Muslims (and then made a new a multimillion-dollar deal to continue as a contributor to FNC) – is a frequent guest on ‘Studio B’ and Smith has the utmost respect for him.
“We’ve been friends for a long time,” Smith told the ‘View’ cohosts. “We do a segment on … ‘Studio B’ called ‘Wednesdays with Juan’ [and] I’m really proud of the journalism that comes out of our place. We’ve never had a big mistake, and I don’t know that Juan Williams has ever had a big mistake either. He’s a mighty well-respected correspondent.”
“And a lot of people have a great respect for your show as well,” ‘The View’s Elisabeth Hasselbeck told Shep, while Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd looked on. “You do an excellent job.”