KC Sullivan, the new boss over at CNBC, has decided to cancel Shepard Smith’s evening (7 pm) news program, The News with Shepard Smith, returning the network to focusing on business and personal finance rather than general news.
Speaking on the cancelation of The News with Shepard Smith and why it was taking place, Sullivan said that CNBC will now “prioritize and focus on our core strengths of business news and personal finance. This is key in our efforts to continue building on our position as the number one global business news brand and to connect with new audiences of all kinds interested in their financial future.”
Continuing, Sullivan said:
“We need to further invest in business news content that provides our audiences actionable understanding of the complex developments in global markets and the implications on institutions, investors and individuals.
“During times of flux and uncertainty, our place in the lives of those we touch on-air, online and in person becomes even clearer, and more essential.”
Sullivan did, however, refrain from criticizing Shepard, saying:
“The quality journalism Shep and his team delivered each weeknight was exemplary and not lost on us or our 7pm audience. ‘The News ‘increased CNBC’s 7pm viewership average and attracted the most affluent audience of any primetime cable news program. At a time when misinformation and disinformation is rampant, ‘The News’ succeeded in providing audiences with the clearest understanding of the facts.
“Decisions like these are not arrived at hastily or taken lightly. I believe this decision will ultimately help to strengthen our brand and the value we provide our audiences.”
And while prioritizing business and personal finance content might have been the reason given by Sullivan, the cost of Smith’s program was likely a major reason too. Mediaite, reporting on the cost to the network of Smith’s show, noted that “Smith cost the network roughly $10 million per year and his show had a staff of 25 people.”
Variety, adding more details on Smith’s removal from the CNBC lineup , noted that:
Smith’s last show will air later in November, and CNBC intends to replace his program, “The News with Shepard Smith,” with an evening hour devoted to business news in early 2023. The anchors for that program will be named at a later date, and it remains to be seen whether CNBC will select candidates from among its current roster or seek to woo someone from outside its ranks.
Smith was once a Fox News Channel host, though he left the network because he said its opinion hosts were spreading lies. FNC was probably happy to get rid of him in 2019, as he was a very vocal critic of former President Donald Trump.
Trump, never one to take attacks lying down, mocked and needled Shepard Smith upon his 2019 departure from Fox News Channel.
After Smith’s PR representative said “The decision to leave was Shep’s and his alone,” Trump, speaking to reporters while getting on Marine Force One, said “Is he leaving because of bad ratings? He had terrible ratings. He had the worst ratings on Fox.”
Many at the time speculated that Smith had been pressured to depart by FNC executives who did not want their influence or relationship with then-President Donald Trump to decline because of Smith’s on-air Trump hate.
And now he’s out of the job again…maybe Trump was right about those ratings after all.
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