'Shell-shocked' Neil Cavuto reacts on-air to Shep Smith leaving Fox News, saying he doesn't know 'what the heck' the anchor is going to do next

  • The Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto was left stunned and "shell-shocked" by Fox News chief anchor Shepard Smith's unexpected announcement that he would be leaving the network after 23 years. 
  • On Friday, Smith blindsided his colleagues when he revealed his Friday show would be his last and he would be stepping down from his position altogether, which he held since Fox News' launch in 1996.
  • "Whoa. I'm Neil Cavuto, and like you, I'm a little stunned and a little heartbroken," he said at the beginning of his broadcast. "I don't know what to say."
  • He added: "I'm sorry if I'm a little shell-shocked here, but I'm going to miss my buddy."
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The Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto was left stunned and "shell-shocked" by Fox News chief anchor Shepard Smith's unexpected announcement that he would be leaving the network after 23 years. 

On Friday, Smith shocked his viewers and colleagues when he revealed his Friday show would be his last and he would be stepping down from his position altogether, which he held since Fox News' launch in 1996.

"I am eternally grateful for the opportunity," Smith said of his time at Fox. "Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After initially requesting that I stay, they obliged … this is my last newscast here. Thank you for watching today and over the decades." 

Cavuto, who hosts the 4 to 5 p.m. weekday hour on Fox News, appeared to be have been completely blindsided by Smith's announcement. 

Read more: Fox News host Shep Smith is leaving the network after 23 years

"Whoa. I'm Neil Cavuto, and like you, I'm a little stunned and a little heartbroken," he said at the beginning of his broadcast. "I don't know what to say. Shepard Smith, as I said just a few days ago on this very network, a decent human being, a heart as big as Texas. I didn't say Texas at the time, maybe just lower Manhattan. A better newsman, you probably cannot find."

He added: "Shepard, I don't know what the heck you are planning to do or where you will go, but I just know you will be great at doing it, and you deserve the best that life has to offer. I'm sorry if I'm a little shell-shocked here, but I'm going to miss my buddy. All right. Onto the news at hand as Shepard would say."

The Fox White House correspondent John Roberts, reporting on Cavuto's show from the White House, also looked like he had gotten the wind knocked out of him by Smith's surprise announcement. 

"I want to get the read from John Roberts at the White House about all of this. John, I apologize for being a little shell-shocked on this other development here, but, uh, take it away," Cavuto said.

"I've just been trying to compile my thoughts, too, Neil. I walked out here to do the hit and suddenly got hit by a subway train, holy mackerel," Roberts responded. 

Smith's announcement comes amid mounting tensions between Fox's news hosts, which include Smith and Cavuto, who report objectively on the Trump administration and the nighttime opinion hosts, including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham, who are openly pro-Trump. 

Read more: The growing divide between Fox News' pro-Trump opinion hosts and news anchors is on full display

Smith and the other straight-news host at Fox News, Trump's favorite network, have frequently been on the receiving end of attacks from Trump throughout the administration, including a critical tweet yesterday.

"With people like Andrew Napolitano, who wanted to be a Supreme Court Justice & I turned him down (he's been terrible ever since), Shep Smith, @donnabrazile (who gave Crooked Hillary the debate questions & got fired from CNN), & others, @FoxNews doesn't deliver for US anymore. It is so different than it used to be. Oh well, I'm President," Trump tweeted.

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