CNBC announced that “The News With Shepard Smith,” the network’s primetime general news show, is canceled so that the network can refocus on its core content, “business and market coverage.”
SCOOP: NBCUniveresal is about to undergo significant layoffs and cost cuts in the weeks ahead, sources familiar tell me.
This will start with Shepard Smith and his @thenewsoncnbc team.
More to come @PuckNews
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) November 3, 2022
“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,” CNBC President KC Sullivan said in an email to CNBC employees. “As a result of this strategic alignment to our core business, we will need to shift some of our priorities and resources and make some difficult decisions.”
Smith was hired by CNBC from Fox News two years ago in an effort to bolster its primetime ratings. He was brought on to create a “non-partisan, general news show” to grow CNBC’s audience. According to CNBC, Smith’s show “accomplished that, doubling CNBC’s 7 p.m. ET viewership and bringing in the wealthiest audience of any primetime cable news program over the last two years.”
Sullivan took over the network in September, and letting Smith go is his first major decision since taking the helm. His decision to move away from Smith’s show seems to be strategic as Sullivan attempts to “clarify CNBC’s brand as specifically targeting business, given the many choices on TV and on the internet for more general news.”
Smith’s show will end at an unspecified date later in November and will be replaced with market coverage until “executives finalize a new live show focusing on business.” The new show will begin in 2023.
The anchors for the new program have not yet been named, and according to Variety, it remains to be seen if the network will choose amongst its current roster of anchors or if it will do what it did when it hired Shepard Smith and look for someone outside of its own ranks.
Making his first major decision since taking over at CNBC, there is a lot of pressure on Sullivan to fill this primetime slot that competes with Fox News’ Jesse Waters in primetime.