Shepard Smith will depart CNBC as his newscast will have its final episode later this month, ending a two-year effort to establish a presence for the high-profile anchor in the primetime hours.
CNBC boss KC Sullivan wrote in a memo that The News with Shepard Smith will have its final episode later this month. The plans are for a new business program in that time slot at the start of 2023.
Decisions like these are not arrived at hastily or taken lightly. I believe this decision will ultimately help to strengthen our brand and the value we provide our audiences.
“Decisions like these are not arrived at hastily or taken lightly,” Sullivan wrote. “I believe this decision will ultimately help to strengthen our brand and the value we provide our audiences.”
KC Sullivan’s note to staffers is below:
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. This is key in our efforts to continue building on our position as the number one global business news brand and to connect with new audiences of all kinds interested in their financial future.
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. During times of flux and uncertainty, our place in the lives of those we touch on-air, online and in person becomes even clearer, and more essential.
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.
To that end, we have decided that The News with Shepard Smith will have its final newscast later this month. The News set out on a bold mission of providing non-partisan, fact-based reporting on the most important stories of the day in the U.S. and around the world. The quality journalism Shep and his team delivered each weeknight was exemplary and not lost on us or our 7pm audience. The News increased CNBC’s 7pm viewership average and attracted the most affluent audience of any primetime cable news program. At a time when misinformation and disinformation is rampant, The News succeeded in providing audiences with the clearest understanding of the facts.
In its place, we will be investing in a new Business News program that will launch in the beginning of 2023. Decisions like these are not arrived at hastily or taken lightly. I believe this decision will ultimately help to strengthen our brand and the value we provide our audiences.
Change is difficult, particularly when talented, good people are impacted. Over the coming weeks, we will work across the News Group to identify other potential opportunities for many of the affected employees. Thank you for your continued dedication and professionalism as we work through these changes.