Shepard Smith's New Show Is an Early Ratings Disaster


Former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith’s new show has dropped in the ratings since its launch on Sept. 30, even lagging behind repeats of the Fox Business program “Lou Dobbs Tonight.”

CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith” premiered on Sept. 30 and averaged 343,000 viewers in its first week, according to Nielsen, Mediaite reported.

Although the description of the show boasts “compelling images and expert guests — all pulled together by Shepard Smith’s trademark devotion to speed, accuracy and the trust of his audience,” Smith’s newest gig has seen a sharp decline in viewership.

An average of 268,000 people tuned into the show in its second week and 254,000 in its third week, with a decline likely to become apparent for week four as well.

In the 25-54 age demographic, an average of 58,000 viewers tuned in for the show’s premiere, but the viewership dropped to 48,000 a week later.

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“Between September 30 and October 22, ‘The News with Shepard Smith’ was at the bottom of 7 p.m. cable news ratings — behind MSNBC’s Joy Reid, CNN’s Erin Burnett and Fox News’ Martha MacCallum — with an average of 272,000 viewers,” Mediaite reported.

During that time period, Smith’s show also fell behind the 7 p.m. repeat of “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” which initially airs at 5 p.m. The 7 p.m. repeat of the Fox Business show averaged 305,000 viewers.

“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,” CNBC said in a statement to Mediaite.

“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.”

Have you seen Smith's new show?

Smith left Fox News last October and announced his departure on the air.

“Recently I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News and begin a new chapter,” Smith said in the statement at the time.

“After requesting that I stay, they graciously obliged. The opportunities afforded this guy from small town Mississippi have been many. It’s been an honor and a privilege to report the news each day to our loyal audience in context and with perspective, without fear or favor.”

“I’ve worked with the most talented, dedicated and focused professionals I know and I’m proud to have anchored their work each day — I will deeply miss them,” he added.

Shepard Smith” consistently averaged over 1 million viewers, and averaged 1.3 million viewers in its last month on the air.

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Mediaite senior editor Joe DePaolo predicted in July that Smith’s new show would be “terrific,” but not many people would watch it.

“Shepard Smith is superb at what he does. His integrity is impeccable. He delivers the news without fear or favor. He pulls no punches during interviews with newsmakers on both sides of the aisle,” DePaolo wrote at the time.

“Odds are that his new show will not upset many. But that’s only because they won’t be watching in the first place.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith