Nov 3, 2022 - Economy & Business

CNBC cancels "The News with Shepard Smith"

Photo of Shepard Smith smiling as he stands on stage behind a podium with the "CPJ" logo

Shepard Smith hosting tthe Committee to Protect Journalists' 29th Annual International Press Freedom Awards in 2019 in New York City. Photo: Dia Dipasupil via Getty Images

NBCUniversal’s CNBC announced Thursday that it has canceled "The News with Shepard Smith" in a move to refocus priorities on business and market coverage.

Why it matters: The show had served as CNBC's general news program for the past two years, aiming to deliver straight, nonpartisan news and bolster primetime TV ratings. It went on the chopping block as part of a larger "strategic realignment, according to CNBC President KC Sullivan.

What they're saying: "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," 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."
  • Given the many avenues for general news on TV and online, CNBC needs to specifically target business coverage to build out its brand and reach, Sullivan added.
  • “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."

The big picture: Smith joined the network in 2020 after departing from Fox News. His show doubled CNBC’s 7 p.m. ET viewership and hauled in the wealthiest audience of any primetime cable news program during his tenure, according to Sullivan.

  • The program, which employs a team of about 20 people, will wrap up later this month. Sullivan said the company will work with impacted employees to identify other potential opportunities across NBC News Group, though Smith will leave the network.
  • CNBC will air markets coverage in the primetime slot until it launches a new show in 2023.
  • The end of Smith's show is Sullivan's first major decision since replacing Mark Hoffman as head of CNBC in September. Hoffman had served as president since 2005.
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