REPORT: Post-Fox News Shep Smith Plagues Staffers With ‘Temper Tantrums’ At Failing CNBC Show

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Former Fox News anchor Shepard Smith’s new CNBC show has been plagued with low ratings, and anonymous sources allege that Smith throws “temper tantrums” on a regular basis, according to the left-wing outlet The Daily Beast.

Smith clashed with prominent Fox News hosts, including Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, which ultimately culminated in the anchor leaving the network abruptly in 2019. In 2020, Smith began hosting “The News with Shepard Smith” on CNBC. The former Fox News host was reportedly offered a salary of roughly $5-$6 million – around $25 million less than what he was reportedly paid at his former network – and CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman provided Smith with a large number of resources, allegedly fostering resentment from the other talent at the network, according to The Daily Beast.

CNBC reportedly was quick to hire staff for the new show in order to launch it before the 2020 election and capitalize on the election bump in cable news viewers, but the new show never took off in the ratings. The show dropped from a peak of 296,000 nightly viewers in February to an average of 197,000 viewers in June. It is the seventh-highest rated show on CNBC and 11th for the critical 25-54 age demographic, according to The Daily Beast.

Jon Klein, former president of CNN/US and current chairman of TAPP Media, told The Daily Beast that “Shep is a talented news anchor with a well-defined persona” but “the show’s struggles indicate how important it is that a program fit the overall identity of its network.” (RELATED: Shep Smith Makes First Public Remarks Since Leaving Fox, Talks ‘Vilification’ Of The Press)

“Viewers almost never tune into a specific show at a specific time anymore — they go to particular networks for a certain kind of experience,” Klein added.

CNBC told the outlet that “viewers’ habits take time to change” but “The News has far outperformed in the 7pm timeslot from the same time period in 2020 and in June, viewers watched 7.2 million hours across TV, digital and social platforms, which was double-digit percentage growth month-over-month.”

Internal friction has also frustrated staffers, according to The Daily Beast. At least two people with direct knowledge of the situation claimed that Smith had “temper tantrums” on a regular basis, the outlet reported. Despite his reputation for giving employees several hundred dollars in bonuses a year and other generous gestures, staffers reportedly complained about dealing with Smith. Sandy Cannold, a veteran TV producer who was tapped to work on the new show, left the position after clashing with Smith several times, including in front of staff, according to The Daily Beast.

“I don’t know where we’re supposed to be” in viewership, Smith told the Washington Post in December 2020, when the outlet wrote about the show’s struggle with ratings. “We’ve had no discussions about ratings with our staff. None of our senior leadership team has ever sat down and talked about [it]. What we have to do is build a great newscast… and then eventually people will come to that or they won’t.”