CNBC cancels Shepard Smith-hosted primetime news show

Given the current economic constraints, several major media organizations have been forced to make cuts to programs and staff and on-air personalities, and NBCUniversal is not immune to that situation.

In that regard, CNBC, the company’s business and markets-focused cable network, has now parted ways with primetime host Shepard Smith, the Daily Caller reported.

Smith out, show canceled

The news of Smith’s termination from CNBC’s primetime lineup was first revealed in a “scoop” Thursday morning from journalist Dylan Byers of Puck News.

“NBCUniveresal is about to undergo significant layoffs and cost cuts in the weeks ahead, sources familiar tell me. This will start with Shepard Smith and his @thenewsoncnbc team,” Byers tweeted.

Smith is done, effective immediately

CNBC has since confirmed that “scoop” and announced that “The News with Shepard Smith” had been canceled after just two years and its eponymous host, formerly of the Fox News Channel, will leave the network at the end of the month.

Beginning immediately and for the remainder of 2022, the network will air an additional hour of live markets coverage in place of Smith’s show, at least until a new business-focused program is launched next year in that primetime slot.

The network further announced that it will assist the roughly 20 members of Smith’s team find other job opportunities with NBC. It was also revealed that the network had given Smith and his team the option to continue with the show until the end of the month but that the team had decided to cease its programming immediately.

“We can confirm the last newscast was Wednesday, November 2,” a spokesperson for CNBC said. “We’ve decided to do an additional hour of live market coverage next week at 7 p.m. ET as we are focused on identifying potential job opportunities for affected employees across the News Group. We thank Shep and the entire ‘News with Shepard Smith’ team for their incredible work and dedication over the past two years.”

Network to refocus on business and markets news

The termination of Smith and his program had nothing to do with poor ratings — in fact, his ratings were quite good — but rather is due to the desire of new CNBC President KC Sullivan to refocus the network on business and markets instead of general news coverage of the sort that Smith provided.

“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 a recent email to staffers. “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.”

It is unclear where Smith will end up now that he has lost his primetime show on CNBC. It seems highly unlikely that he would or could return to Fox News, and aside from the possibility that he could shift over to MSNBC, that only leaves CNN and the broadcast networks as potential new homes for the longtime news anchor.

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