New York (CNN Business)Shep Smith, who stunned the television news industry by walking away from Fox News in the middle of a three-year contract last fall, is joining CNBC as the network’s new 7 p.m. Eastern anchor.

Smith will anchor “The News with Shepard Smith” starting sometime in the fall, CNBC announced Wednesday.

The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. It was a surprise to some staffers at CNBC, which is known for specialized business news reporting, not Smith’s brand of breaking news coverage.

But the business network has been exploring new scheduling strategies for the post-market hours, and Smith appears to be part of that.

“We aim to deliver a nightly program that, in some small way, looks for the signal in all the noise,” CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman said in a statement. “We’re thrilled that Shep, who’s built a career on an honest fight to find and report the facts, will continue his pursuit of the truth at CNBC.”

Smith said that Hoffman “presented me with CNBC’s vision for a fact-based, hour-long evening news program with the mission to cut through the static to deliver facts, in context and with perspective. I know I found a great home for my newscast.”

In addition to anchor, Smith will be executive editor of the 7 p.m. program. He had a similar arrangement at Fox News. CNBC said he will also be the network’s chief general news anchor, indicating that he may break into other hours of the day for live coverage.

The other NBC-owned news channel, MSNBC, is in the middle of a transition at 7 p.m. as well. MSNBC has been trying out replacements for Chris Matthews, who stepped down from “Hardball” several months ago. MSNBC is reportedly close to naming weekend host Joy Reid to take over the time slot.

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