For the time being, Bret Baier, Chris Wallace, Brit Hume, Shannon Bream, Martha MacCallum, Bill Hemmer and John Roberts are among the Fox Newsers who will take turns anchoring the network’s 3 p.m. hour in light of Shepard Smith‘s departure.
Smith stunned the television industry last Friday by announcing that he was leaving Fox News after a 23-year run.
Variety recently spoke with Fox News Media president Jay Wallace about the future of Fox News at 3 p.m., and Smith’s departure.“It was a tough day for a lot of people here,” Wallace said. “The thing about this place, there is a camaraderie, a ‘us against the world’ mentality. These are more like familial bonds as opposed to just passing, transactional relationships. That’s why it hit so hard with a lot of people.”
Wallace, a producer of Smith’s earlier in his career, told the trade that 3 p.m. will remain a news hour. He also said that the search for the next permanent 3 p.m. anchor wouldn’t necessarily be limited to Fox News, and that the network “isn’t rushing into it.”
Fox News’ Los Angeles-based correspondent Trace Gallagher helmed the hour today.
Wallace was also asked about recent tensions between the news and opinion side of the network. He says the company prefers to keep differences off the air, something that hasn’t happened recently.
“Fighting on air is an absolute no-go for us,” he said.
In addition to recent bickering between Tucker Carlson and Smith, discussions on The Five have gotten more intense in recent weeks as the Trump impeachment inquiry heating up.
“Emotions can run high, and they do at times, so they do,” he added. “Our guidance has always been to deal with this – if you have a problem with someone, pick up the phone. These are sharp people. Why do you want to parade this in front of everyone? Our audience doesn’t want to see it.”