Shepard Smith had been At Fox News since its inception in 1996 and had worked there for 23 years. In October 2019 a disgruntled Smith left Fox News and was off the air for almost a year before debuting at CNBC on September 30.
So far, things have not been going well. He averaged 322,000 total viewers in his first week of prime-time shows on the Comcast-owned business network, according to Nielsen Media Research. Smith’s Sept. 30 debut brought in 373,000 viewers nine days ago, but the numbers immediately began to drop after that. On Oct. 1, Smith’s show had 321,000 viewers, followed by 331,000 on Oct. 2, 266,000 on Oct. 5, and 321,000 on Wednesday.
Those numbers are a fraction of the viewers he drew with a mid-afternoon show on Fox, which drew an average of 1.3 million per day, Variety reported.
Compare those numbers to the ratings Fox pulls in prime time. Sean Hannity ended the third quarter as the highest-rated show in cable news, with an average audience of 4.454 million viewers. “Overall, Fox News had four of the top five highest-rated shows in cable news, with Hannity followed by Tucker Carlson Tonight (4.351 million viewers), The Five (3.483 million viewers), and The Ingraham Angle (3.430 million viewers). MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show finished in fifth place overall as the highest-rated non-FNC program, with an average total audience of 3.302 million viewers,” The Hill reported.
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