Shepard Smith engages the news on 'The Fox Report'
For two hours each of those days, Shepard Smith anchors news broadcasts -- from 3 to 4 p.m. ET on his news/interview program "Studio B With Shepard Smith," and then from 7 to 8 p.m. ET on FNC's evening newscast, "The
In his career, Smith has covered school shootings, the Clinton impeachment hearings, the execution of Oklahoma City bomber
But with his deadpan delivery and distinctive Mississippi drawl, Smith is also known for his colorful commentary on car chases.
"I love car chases," he says. "We all need a break, and with the knowledge that this person's going to jail and the hope that nobody gets hurt I don't know. It's fun." Smith has also been known to repeat a clip showing a black bear falling from a tree onto a trampoline -- more than once (adding that the bouncing bear didn't get hurt). If you want news delivered with a stony straight face and without any personal asides, then Smith might not be your cup of tea.
"We try to cover things that affect people's lives," he says, "and make a difference in their families, and then things that are just of general interest. The Salahis, one of them's running off with a
"I don't mind bears on trampolines either. I think we can do both. I think you can be a credible source of information, with credibility built up over years and years in a body of work, and also have a little fun.
"I think people understand that. They do it, too. They work all day, and sometime during the day, they're hopefully going to have a gut-busting laugh. It's good for us. I try to."
Smith began his career in local news in Florida before heading to Los Angeles to join the Fox affiliate news service "Fox News Edge." Since FNC is a corporate sibling of Fox Broadcasting, it has access to feeds from the Fox owned-and-operated local stations and affiliates.
"Certainly the first thing we do," he says, "is get them right up there on the satellite, see what our locals are doing. Our local stations are the backbone of the Fox broadcasting network and the Fox News Channel.
"We have a partnership. Our network wasn't built from the network down; it was built from the stations up, and for good reason. We knew that communities are based around local
It was also on the local level that Smith developed his style of delivering the news.
"I've always tried to just be me," he says. "One of my early impressions, getting into this business, when I was in very small towns in Florida, running around chasing ambulances and loving life thoroughly, is that people on a lot of the channels seemed like they were robots.
"Maybe they were interested in the things about which they were speaking; they didn't convey that to me. I'd rather think they're interested in what they're talking about. It's not any fun to listen to somebody who's not interested. It's just not engaging.
"So I always figured the thing to do is just not pretend I'm disinterested, not to pretend that what I do is boring. It's the most exciting fit in the world for me. It's not a perfect fit for everyone, but it's a perfect fit for me. I love it, and I'm not going to pretend that I'm not excited about it every day, because I am."
Smith is also aware he's just not talking about facts and figures.
"We have to remember that we're reporting on human beings that have wives and children and grandparents and lives, that can be easily wrecked by the poor stroke of a pen or type of a key or word uttered on the evening news.
"Our responsibility is large, and I respect it and treat it that way. Don't forget the victims. Don't forget these are human beings we're talking about here. Don't treat them worse than the animals that people seem to love more than humans."