News from Shep Smith
Adam Jeffrey | NBC Finance
NBCUniversal’s CNBC canceled its prime-time general news show “The News with Shepard Smith” to refocus on business and market coverage.
The network made the announcement Thursday in an email to CNBC employees. Smith will leave the network later this month, according to people familiar with the matter. CNBC will replace Smith’s primetime programming with market coverage until 2023 with a new live show focused on business news.
In an email to CNBC staff, CNBC President KC Sullivan said: “After spending time with many of you and carefully reviewing every aspect of our business, I believe we must prioritize and focus our efforts on business news. and personal finance.” . “As it aligns with our core business strategy, we will need to change some of our priorities and resources and make some tough decisions.”
Smith’s gig will end later this month on an unspecified date. His team consists of about 20 people. The company will work over the next few weeks to help employees affected by the cancellation find other potential opportunities within NBC News.
Smith joined CNBC from Fox News two years ago to boost prime-time TV ratings. According to Sullivan, his show has achieved that, doubling CNBC’s 7 p.m. ET ratings and attracting the richest viewers of any prime-time cable news program over the past two years. “The Shepard Smith News” average viewership last month was the highest since April.
The decision to leave Smith is Sullivan’s first major decision since taking over CNBC from Mark Hoffman in September. Hoffman has been president of CNBC since 2005.
While other news organizations such as CNN are taking cost-cutting measures, the decision to replace Smith’s show with a nightly commercial is strategic in nature. Sullivan is trying to clarify that CNBC’s brand is business-specific, given the many options on TV and the Internet for more general news, he said in the email.
“We need to invest further in business news content that gives our audiences a realistic understanding of complex developments in global markets and the implications for institutions, investors and individuals,” Sullivan wrote.
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Disclosure: Comcast’s NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.