CNBC cancels ‘Shepard Smith News’ after two years

News with Shep Smith

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

NBCUniversal-owned CNBC has canceled The Shepard Smith News, its general primetime news show, to refocus on business and market coverage.

The network announced the news Thursday in an email to CNBC staff. According to a person familiar with the matter, Smith will leave the network at the end of this month. CNBC will replace Smith’s primetime show with market coverage until a new live business news show launches in 2023.

“After spending time with many of you and taking a close look at various aspects of our business, I believe we should prioritize and focus on our core strengths in business news and personal finance,” CNBC President K.C. Sullivan said in an email to CNBC staff. . “As a result of this strategic alignment with our core business, we will need to shift some of our priorities and resources and make some difficult decisions.”

The Smith show will end later this month on an unspecified date. His team includes about 20 people. In the coming weeks, the company will work to help employees affected by the cancellation find other potential opportunities at NBC News Group.

Smith joined CNBC two years ago from Fox News to boost primetime TV ratings. According to Sullivan, his show achieved this by doubling CNBC’s audience at 7 p.m. ET and garnering the richest audience of any prime-time cable news program in the last two years. “News with Shepard Smith” garnered the largest average audience since April last month.

The decision to leave Smith is the first major decision Sullivan has made 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 The Smith Show with an overnight business program is a strategic one. Sullivan is trying to make clear that the CNBC brand is specifically business-focused, given the many options on TV and online for more general news, he said in an email.

“We need to continue investing in business news content that gives our audience actionable insights into complex developments in global markets and their implications for institutions, investors and individuals,” Sullivan wrote.

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Disclosure: NBCUniversal Comcast is the parent company of CNBC.

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