CNBC pulls the plug on ‘The News With Shepard Smith’

CNBC wraps up its nightly newscast with Shepard Smith, the former Fox News host who joined the business channel in 2020.

KC Sullivan, who recently took over as manager of the NBCUniversal-owned outlet, told staff in a memo Thursday that Smith’s final program will air later this month. A CNBC official said Smith will be leaving the company.

Sullivan said The News With Shepard Smith will be replaced with a nightly program that focuses on business news and will be more compatible with CNBC’s daytime financial markets coverage.

The move is part of Sullivan’s plan to put more resources into covering business and personal finances.

“I believe this decision will ultimately help strengthen our brand and the value we offer to our audience,” Sullivan said in the memo.

Before joining CNBC, Smith was a longtime anchor at Fox News, known for his impartial approach to the conservative-leaning channel, and was one of the highest-paid on-air personalities. He became an iconoclast on the network by directly contradicting many of the talking points advanced by his prime-time commentators.

Smith, 58, left Fox News in 2019 amid reports that he was increasingly unhappy with the intensity of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity’s pro-Trump rhetoric.

But Smith no longer stood out from the crowd after signing with CNBC, where his late-night programming didn’t draw large audiences.

According to Nielsen data, Smith will attract an average of 222,000 viewers on CNBC in 2022. Audiences at 7 p.m. Eastern Hour don’t come close to the levels of Fox News, CNN, or MSNBC.

Although CNBC remains a highly profitable business for NBCUniversal, it has fallen behind Fox Corporation’s Fox Business Channel in the Nielsen ratings during trading hours.

CNBC doesn’t use Nielsen numbers to sell the channel, which many executives and market watchers watch from their offices.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2022-11-03/cnbc-shepard-smith-fox-news-cable-news CNBC pulls the plug on ‘The News With Shepard Smith’

Sarah Ridley

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