Maybe it’s time for Shep to pack up his briefcase again.
You might think that a financial network would be especially familiar with the phrase get woke, go broke. Unfortunately for CNBC, there is bad news conveyed by the underperforming ratings for The News with Shepard Smith.
It seems that hardly anyone is watching the newscast anchored by the former Fox News journalist, who finished out his career on the Murdoch family-owned channel spewing anti-President Trump talking points and feuding with Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity.
Even liberal Daily Beast reporters, however, had to admit that the CNBC program hosted by Smith that debuted in September 2020 amounts to an epic fail.
“Whether it’s a poor time slot, behind-the-scenes squabbles, an outdated news format, a slower post-Trump news cycle, or just a once-popular anchor taking his frustrations out on staffers, CNBC insiders have a lot of reasons for why Shepard Smith’s show has failed to capture major ratings. But one thing many agree on is that it has not met the bosses’ expectations,” the Daily Beast explained as it tried to rationalize why Smith has proven to be anything but a drawing card.
Less than 200,000 people currently tune in to the show, down from its “peak” of about 300,000 in February (which isn’t much to write home about even in the cable news space), the Beast noted in the article that it says is based on interviews with nine CNBC insiders, some of whom no longer work there.
“[V]iewers never seemed to show up,” the website noted succinctly, even given the intense Election 2020 news cycle.
Given its high hopes, CNBC reportedly built a new studio especially for Smith at the station’s northern New Jersey headquarters as well as another one, for COVID-related reasons, in his mansion in the swanky Hamptons liberal enclave on Long Island.
The ratings suggest the NBCUniversal-owned channel may not be getting a sufficient return on its investment.
As alluded to above, the lockdown- and face mask advocate also allegedly doesn’t get along with co-workers.
Smith’s ([$5-$6 million] salary and the resources Hoffman has thrown at his show have created a tremendous amount of resentment from other CNBC talent, according to multiple insiders familiar with the situation…And the show has faced its fair share of internal friction, some of which has centered on the host himself. Smith is seen as a pro with high news standards prone to generous gestures…but amid a wider re-evaluation of bullying in media workplaces, some staffers have complained that he is difficult to deal with. At least two people with direct knowledge of the situation described Smith as having regular “temper tantrums.”
Despite the data, CNBC executives supposedly might double-down by giving Shep more air time by “expanding the primetime news hours around Smith,” even to the point of moving the popular Mad Money host Jim Cramer to a different slot.
Fox News actually saw a ratings boost in the 3 p.m. time slot after Smith exited in October 2019 and was later replaced by Bill Hemmer.
Despite the lack of traction with the NBC sister station’s viewing audience, Shepard Smith will be co-anchoring some of the primetime Olympic coverage that will air on CNBC (note that there is a lot of inventory for multiple channels) during the upcoming Tokyo games.
A spokesperson for CNBC told the Daily Beast that “It’s been less than a year since we launched The News with Shepard Smith and we are incredibly proud of the high-quality journalism and powerful storytelling the team produces every weeknight,” adding that the show is doing better ratings-wise than the content it was presenting a year ago at 7 p.m. Eastern time.
At the time of his departure from Fox News after 23 years, BizPac Review compiled this Top 5 Shepard Smith meltdowns.
- Facebook joins Google, Netflix in requiring all US workers to be vaccinated - July 29, 2021
- Michigan Dem lawmaker who called ‘Big Gretch’ his ‘homie’ reports $221 campaign spending at strip club - July 29, 2021
- Irate Geraldo fights with The Five hosts after Gutfeld questions his intent: ‘… I’ll kick you in the ass!’ - July 29, 2021