Many will say that one of the biggest undoings of the American broadcast media would be preexisting biases in the minds of viewers, fuelled in part by assumptions that every network has its basic ideological leanings. When it is FOX, for example, there is a consensus that there would be a tilt to the right. When its CNN, then obviously it would be more left inclined. Shepard Smith, however, is one media character that does a good job of sticking to his task irrespective of preexisting stereotypes.
It is not often that you find an employee that openly airs unsavory opinions about his employers, but that’s Shepard Smith, he really just does him. No gimmicks. He even finds time to criticize US President Donald Trump on a network that’s predominantly pro-Trump. Whatever opinion you hold about his personal life, one thing is certain – Smith is pretty good at his job.
Born in Holly Springs, Mississippi, January 14, 1964, to David Shepard Smith Sr., a cotton merchant and Dora Ellen Anderson, an English teacher, Shepard attended Marshall Academy, in Holly Springs. Right after High school, he relocated to Florida with his mom after his parents got a divorce. He attended the University of Mississippi, where he studied for a degree in Journalism, he, however, left with just two credits shy of graduation.
His career in journalism started in 1986 as a reporter for the Panama City-based
media company, WJGH-TV after which he joined WBBH-TV as a reporter. He also had stints with WCPX-TV (now WKMG-TV) as a reporter. It was while during his time at WCPX-TV Los Angeles covering the OJ Simpson trial that he was spotted by Fox News founder Roger Ailes who at the time was setting up his team and was impressed by the forthrightness and frankness of Shepard’s reporting.
He joined Fox News Channel in 1996 as one of the stations’ pioneer staff. Since joining, he has more or less become part of the furniture at Fox covering many high-profile events around the world. He covered the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, the controversial Florida ballot counting in 2000 and the execution of American domestic tourist Timothy James McVeigh in 2001.
He has also anchored most of the channel’s flagship news programs including The Fox Report with Shepard Smith and Studio B which airs weekdays on Fox News. Shepard Smith is presently the Managing Editor of Fox News’ Breaking News Division which means that he heads a team of 17 Fox News staffers tasked with swinging into motion whenever a major news occurs whether its a mass shooting, a hurricane or any such blockbuster breaking news that often disrupts regular programming.
While there is obviously a clear difference in opinion between Shepard Smith and most notable figures on the books of Fox, the likes of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, Shepard Smith always insists their job description are really different. He says they anchor shows that espouse opinion and entertainment, while he deals with the News.
Smith has been a part of Fox from the stations’ inception and is held in high regard by its top management. In March 2018, he was handed a lucrative multi-year contract which sees his stay at Fox extended for the foreseeable future.
Asides journalism, he made an appearance in the movie Volcano, videos of him anchoring the news on Fox appeared in the film Fahrenheit 9/11. Shepard Smith has a net worth of $25 million.
Shepard Smith’s father was David Shepard Smith Sr while his mother’s name is Dora Ellen Anderson. His parent’s divorced right before he got into college. He has a brother, Benton Smith. He was married to his University of Mississippi classmate, Virginia Donald in 1987. The couple however divorced in 1993 and didn’t have any kids together.
Is Shepard Smith Gay?
For much of his adult life, Shepard Smith has opted for a very private personal life, all that was seen was his professional side. Very few knew much about the man behind the journalist, so in April 2017 when Smith publicly disclosed he was gay in a speech at the University of Mississippi’s Meek School of Journalism, it was a little surprising to many.
According to Smith, he had never considered himself to be closeted rather saw it as his personal business and really didn’t see a reason make a fuss about it. He, however, admitted concerns about the acceptability and worried about how the news would go down with his employers bearing in mind that FOX News is a conservative setup.
Who is His Partner?
Shepard Smith has been in a relationship with his gay partner for about six years. Though he insists he never “hid” his sexuality, not many knew he was gay. His partner is Giovanni Graziano, a production assistant who worked with Smith for a little over a year.
Graziano is a graduate of Broadcast Journalism from the Penn State University. After most insiders at Fox became aware of there relationship, Gio was moved to an affiliate Varney & Company to avoid a conflict of interest.