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Shepard Smith's New Deal

11/19/2007 5:14 AM Eastern

Fox News Channel has re-upped Shepard Smith as its lead news anchor with a multiyear deal.  

A member of Fox News since it launched in 1996, he anchors The Fox Report with Shepard Smith, the network’s 7 p.m. weeknight newscast, which had the cable news timeslot for 73 consecutive months and topped the combined efforts of CNN and MSNBC in the period for 23 quarters, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The show, which averages over 1.4 million, ranks as the third most-watched program in cable news. Smith also anchors Studio B, which sets the Nielsen pace in its weekday 3 p.m. timeslot.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but an article in today's The New York Times, citing an executive briefed on the new contract, said to slightly exceed three years, put Smith’s annual salary at somewhere between $7 million and $8 million. In September, Fox News began delivering The Fox Report from a new state-of-the-art studio.

“Shep has an exceptional talent for delivering the news in a distinct and engaging manner,” said Roger Ailes, chairman and CEO, Fox News and chairman, Fox Television Stations, in a statement. “His passion and enthusiasm are unmatched in the industry.”

“Fox has been my home for more than a decade and I’m thrilled to remain with the network that has revolutionized the television news landscape,” said Smith in a statement.

September