NBCUniversal is reportedly parting ways with CNBC host and former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith by the end of the month as the network is set to undergo major changes.
Industry insiders say the business-oriented network is about to experience “significant layoffs” and cost-cutting continuing at least through the start of 2023. It will begin with Shep Smith and his programming team.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 3, 2022
“The News with Shepard Smith” is being replaced with business programming until network executives settle on a new program that will focus on financial matters. He will reportedly leave CNBC by the end of November.
The network terms Smith’s removal as part of a “strategic realignment.”
When the show launched two years ago, CNBC billed it as “non-partisan, fact-based reporting” on the primary stories both domestically and from around the world.
New CNBC President KC Sullivan has indicated to employees that he wants more company resources applied to business and financial news. He added that the network must refocus on its “core strengths,” which he said are “business news and personal finance.”
Canceling Smith’s 7 p.m. show is the first major move undertaken by Sullivan since he stepped in two months ago.
Sullivan replaced longtime network boss Mark Hoffman.
The executive noted in a company memo that the realignment came with “difficult decisions,” including letting go of “talented, good people.” He complimented the “quality journalism” afforded viewers of the show and called the performance “exemplary.”
Smith’s team for the 7 p.m. slot includes about 20 employees, and Sullivan said they will be afforded opportunities as possible across the platform.
Smith was a former Fox News anchor who parted ways with the network two years ago over what were described as “disagreements” over editorial decisions and programming.
He was brought on to CNBC after he said he was presented with a vision for a “fact-based, hour-long evening news program” that would “cut through the static to deliver facts.” Management expressed high hopes that there was a large audience for a down-the-middle news program.