Anchor Shepard Smith is out at CNBC following cancellation of his primetime nightly program The News with Shephard Smith.
“After spending time with many of you and closely reviewing the various aspects of our business, I believe we must prioritize and focus on our core strengths of business news and personal finance,” newly installed CNBC president KC Sullivan said in a memo to staff. (The missive was leaked to Deadline and other pubs in the Penske showbiz trade monopoly.)
“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,” Sullivan added.
Smith, 58, joined CNBC two years ago from his longtime perch at Fox News Channel.
“We aim to deliver a nightly program that, in some small way, looks for the signal in all the noise,” just-departed CNBC chief Mark Hoffman said at the time.
Smith, who’d been with Fox News since it launched in 1996, was given a reported annual salary of $10 million and a staff of around 25 underlings. But similar to the fates of Smith's former Fox News colleagues, Megyn Kelly and Greta Van Susteren, who also flamed out in their unsuccessful respective transitions to NBC News and MSNBC, Smith couldn't get his sizable audience at far-right network Fox News to follow him to his new perch (opens in new tab) at more centrist and business-focused CNBC.
In his first two months on CNBC, Smith's show averaged only around 280,000 viewers, and the show never found traction from there.
"The News set out on a bold mission of providing non-partisan, fact-based reporting on the most important stories of the day in the U.S. and around the world,” Sullivan added. “The quality journalism Shep and his team delivered each weeknight was exemplary and not lost on us or our 7 p.m. audience. The News increased CNBC’s 7 p.m. 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.” ▪️
Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!
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