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Shepard Smith made a shocking exit from Fox News in October of 2019. In his last speech on his Shepard Smith Reporting newscast, he looked back at his 23-year career with the conservative news channel. "Even in our currently polarized nation, it's my hope that the facts will win the day, that the truth will always matter, that journalism and journalists will thrive," he said.
There was no hint that his show was failing. In fact, Shepard Smith Reporting "typically averaged over one million viewers," according to the Daily Caller. However, Smith may have been overwhelmed by a growing dissolution between Fox News and President Donald Trump, reported CNN. Unlike some of his pro-Trump colleagues, the veteran journalist saw himself as fair and unbiased. Trump, who generally supports Fox News, had even called out Smith in the past, asking if he had been "trained by CNN" (which is a serious insult when it's coming from Trump.)
Smith did not leave FOX for CNN, but he did eventually return to the scene on another news channel: CNBC. However, his new show appears to be in trouble. Let's take a closer look.
Shepard Smith's CNBC is losing viewers
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Shepard Smith debuted on CNBC in September 2020 via a program titled The News with Shepard Smith, which airs weeknights at 7 p.m. EST. Unfortunately, his new audience does not seem to be warming up to him. According to Nielsen Data, per the Daily Caller, his ratings have continued to drop each week his show has been on the air. The former Fox News anchor reportedly attracted 343,000 total viewers for week one, and by week four, just 242,000 people tuned in. This is much lower than his ratings for his former 3 p.m. time slot with Fox News.
Despite those troubling numbers, CNBC says it is going to continue to support Smith. "We are pleased with the launch of The News with Shepard Smith and have received very positive feedback from viewers," CNBC said in a statement (per the Daily Caller). "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." CNBC noted that The News with Shepard Smith is outperforming the channel's previous show, The Kudlow Report, that had the same time slot. "We will continue to fight for every viewer every weeknight," the network said.
CNBC has received positive feedback on The News with Shepard Smith's Twitter page, but there are definitely mixed reviews floating around the internet.
Shepard Smith does have support, despite his low viewership
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In general, it does seem like people are rooting for Shepard Smith and his CNBC show. One viewer tweeted: "So glad that you're back! Love your show. I like that you talk about what's happening around the US and the world, not just Washington DC. Thank you!" Another fan agreed: "Just found your show again — always watched you on Fox — you do an excellent job on just the news without the bias — thanks — will be watching."
However, not everyone is happy Smith is back on television. One Twitter critic said The News with Shepard Smith isn't worth the investment. "Why is CNBC wasting money on this clown show?" they tweeted.
Smith is not the only Fox-turned-NBC reporter that has experienced mixed reviews. Keep reading to see who else has endured a rough road following their transition to NBC.
Megyn Kelly's jump from Fox to NBC was rough
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Megyn Kelly departed from her perch at Fox News and left her own show, The Kelly Files, in 2017. She said her exit was due to the atmosphere of covering politics for a conservative news channel. "I was never a political person. I wasn't raised in a political household. It became clear to me it wasn't what I wanted to do. It's not who I am," Kelly said in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres. "Donald Trump has a way of clarifying one's life choices, and that was true in my case too." Trump and Kelly had a publicly tumultuous relationship beginning in 2015, after Trump said Kelly "bombed" as moderator in the first 2015 Republican debate.
Kelly later struck a deal with NBC to host the third hour of the Today show with a program called Megyn Kelly Today, starting in September 2017. However, Kelly's ratings were low and she received dismal reviews. The New York Times called her transition "an awkward rebranding campaign." Kelly was officially ousted only two years into her $69 million contract over her controversial comments about wearing blackface.
While she no longer has her own show on television, Kelly has kept busy. She currently hosts a podcast called The Megyn Kelly Show, which covers a range of topics from politics to internet culture.