Shepard Smith, the chief news anchor of Fox News whose reporting often drew the ire of President Trump, said on Friday that he was leaving the cable news network after 23 years, an abrupt move that left some of his co-workers openly stunned.

“Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News,” Mr. Smith told viewers at the close of his regular broadcast. “After requesting that I stay, they obliged.”

A fixture of Fox News, Mr. Smith joined the network as a correspondent at its start in 1996 and became one of its most visible journalists. He is leaving in the middle of his current contract, a rarity in the cutthroat television business, and he told viewers on Friday that under his exit agreement, “I won’t be reporting elsewhere at least in the near future.”

Since Mr. Trump took office, Mr. Smith has stood out at Fox News for his tough coverage of the White House — a stark contrast from the Trump cheerleading often displayed by the network’s prime-time and morning-show commentators.

Mr. Smith’s reporting on the White House has frustrated Mr. Trump, who has taunted the anchor on Twitter. On Thursday, Mr. Trump cited Mr. Smith by name, along the former Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, in a Twitter post arguing that Fox News was “much different than it used to be in the good old days.”

In March, the president lobbed another insult at Mr. Smith, calling him the network’s “lowest rated anchor” and saying that, along with a pair of Fox News weekend anchors, he should be working at CNN, a network he has often accused of having a liberal bias.

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