CNBC cancels Shepard Smith’s show on ‘Move Away From General News’

CNBC is canceling the daily evening show hosted by Shepard Smith, ending the channel’s foray into general interest news led by the former Fox News host.

Mr. Smith’s final show will be later this month, according to a memo sent to staff on Thursday by CNBC President KC Sullivan.

The decision to cancel Mr. Smith’s show, The News with Shepard Smith, comes as Mr. Sullivan, who took over the helm in September, is reevaluating the network’s programming and coincident with the industry-wide decline of traditional television and burgeoning streaming -Business juggles.

CNBC plans to replace Mr. Smith’s 7 p.m. show with a program more focused on business and finance, Mr. Sullivan wrote. Mr. Sullivan said CNBC is trying to find other jobs at the network for those who worked on Mr. Smith’s show.

“Change is difficult, especially when it affects talented, good people,” Sullivan wrote.

Mr Smith did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The decision to cancel Mr. Smith’s show is Mr. Sullivan’s first major programming decision since he took over from Mark Hoffman, who ran CNBC for nearly two decades. After assessing the network’s performance, Mr. Sullivan decided to sharpen CNBC’s focus on business reporting and steer it away from the general interest news stories that are rife elsewhere, according to two people familiar with his mindset, on condition of the Anonymity for discussion spoke internal affairs.

Mr. Smith joined CNBC in 2020 with much fanfare after spending more than two decades at Fox News, where he was a reliably impartial presence at a network known for its conservative prime-time commentary. Mr Smith clashed with Tucker Carlson, who hosts one of Fox News’ most popular shows, and he was occasionally taunted by former President Donald J. Trump for his reporting at the center.

The News with Shepard Smith is one of CNBC’s more expensive programs to produce. The show has around 20 dedicated staff members, and Mr. Smith had a multi-year deal with the network.

Mr. Smith’s show outperformed other shows on the network, including “Mad Money with Jim Cramer,” according to ratings data from Nielsen. But his show struggled to outperform competing shows from Fox News, MSNBC and CNN in the timeslot.

The decision to cancel Mr. Smith’s show comes as CNBC’s parent company, Comcast, is considering major programming changes in its NBCUniversal division. The company has said it is considering giving its 10 p.m. hour back to local broadcasters, a move that threatens to alter the nightly programming schedule that has been a staple of NBC for decades.

Mr. Sullivan’s plans to focus on business and finance include CNBC Investing Club with Jim Cramer and CNBC Pro, services that offer subscribers additional tips and stories for a monthly fee.

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