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The News With Shepard Smith will air Monday through Friday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Smith will also become CNBC’s chief general news anchor and chief breaking general news anchor.
Smith joins CNBC after spending 23 years at Fox News, where he was most recently the chief news anchor and host of the dayside program Shepard Smith Reporting. He had previously anchored Studio B and The Fox Report. Smith left Fox last October in a surprise move after asking the channel to step down from his role. He had just signed a multiyear deal with Fox in 2018.
At CNBC, Smith’s newscast will be “the perfect bridge between CNBC’s daytime investor-focused news programming and the network’s aspirational business-oriented entertainment programs in primetime,” CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman said in a statement announcing the hire.
“Information is coming at us from every direction. If we’re not careful, life-altering decisions will be made based on half-truth, rumor, misdirection or worse,” Hoffman added. “We aim to deliver a nightly program that, in some small way, looks for the signal in all the noise. We’re thrilled that Shep, who’s built a career on an honest fight to find and report the facts, will continue his pursuit of the truth at CNBC.”
After Smith left Fox, there was speculation that he could end up at MSNBC or CNN, with news outlets reporting that Smith had spoken to MSNBC president Phil Griffin about a potential role. CNN president Jeff Zucker said shortly after Smith left Fox that the channel would be interested in talking to him about a role once his noncompete agreement expired.
Instead, Smith will join another channel in the NBC News Group umbrella.
CNBC says details on the new show will be revealed in the coming months. Smith starts July 13. CNBC had been using the 7 p.m. slot to run breaking news special reports related to the markets and the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as acquired entertainment programming like Undercover Boss and Shark Tank.
In May, New York Times media columnist Ben Smith reported that NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell was considering whether to turn CNBC’s primetime lineup into a right-wing talk block. An NBCUniversal source confirmed at the time that the idea was in consideration, noting that acquired reality shows with no backend for the company may not be the best use of the time period.
The hiring of Smith suggests that while CNBC may not be moving into right-wing commentary just yet, it is acting to replace at least some of its entertainment fare with news that may appeal to viewers of competing cable news channels.
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