CNBC anchor Shepard Smith’s new primetime show “The News with Shepard Smith” continues to suffer from abysmal ratings after its recent debut, even falling behind reruns of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on the Fox Business channel.
Smith’s show, which premiered Sept. 30 to an audience of approximately 373,000, according to Nielsen Media Research, experienced a continual drop-off in viewership that continues to decline, Mediaite reported. By its third week, the show pulled in just 254,000 viewers, falling to the bottom of the 7 p.m. cable news slot. Its ratings were beaten by Joy Reid at MSNBC, Erin Burnett at CNN, and Martha MacCallum at Fox News. The second airing of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” on Fox Business garnered 305,000 viewers.
In the key 25-54 demographic, Smith’s fell from 54,000 viewers in its debut to 48,000 in its third week.
Smith quit Fox News in October 2019 after more than two decades at the network, signing a deal for a one-hour program on CNBC in July. He said at the time that he was “honored to continue to pursue the truth, both for CNBC’s loyal viewers and for those who have been following my reporting for decades in good times and in bad.” He went on to praise CNBC for having a “vision for a fact-based, hourlong evening news program with the mission to cut through the static to deliver facts, in context and with perspective.”
Before leaving Fox News, Smith tussled publicly with host Tucker Carlson, who recently set a record for the highest ratings in cable news history. Weeks before his departure, Smith described as “repugnant” an incident in which Carlson did not push back against former U.S. Attorney Joe diGenova when he called Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano “a fool” for claiming that President Donald Trump admitted to committing a crime during his infamous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Upon learning that Smith was leaving Fox News, Trump mocked him, saying, “Is he leaving because of bad ratings? He had terrible ratings. He had the worst ratings on Fox. I wish Shepard Smith well.”
CNBC told Mediaite in a statement:
We are pleased with the launch of The News with Shepard Smith and have received very positive feedback from viewers. Not only is CNBC a new entrant in the general news genre, but news viewers are creatures of habit and it takes a long time to change those habits. That said, the newscast far exceeds the audience of The Kudlow Report, which was the last regular news program to air on CNBC in the 7p hour back in the first quarter of 2014. We will continue to fight for every viewer every weeknight. Tune in to CNBC again tonight for more of the facts, the truth and The News with Shepard Smith at 7pm ET and follow us on Twitter @thenewsoncnbc.
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