Shep Smith loses 7 p.m. show on Fox News, promoted to managing editor of “breaking news” division

posted at 6:01 pm on September 12, 2013 by Allahpundit

Megyn Kelly’s moving to 9 p.m. and Greta let on months ago that she’s guaranteed a show in primetime in her contract. Barring an unanticipated retirement by O’Reilly or Hannity, that put Shep, who already has his own show in the afternoon, as the odd man out at 7 p.m. Presumably Greta’s moving there (Erin Burnett’s show on CNN in the same timeslot is similar as a catch-all for the day’s news, politics, and high-profile trials) and Hannity’s moving to 10 p.m., although Fox is still mum on that.

Lest you think this is a demotion, “insiders” tell TV Newser that Smith’s compensation will be second only to O’Reilly’s.

Shepard Smith has signed a new multi-year deal with Fox News Channel in which he will become the primary breaking news anchor for the network. In the process, he will lose his 7pmET “Fox Report,” while his 3pmET program “Studio B” will now be known as “Shepard Smith Reporting.”

In addition to the 3pm hour, Smith, who made his name with breaking news coverage, will now be the breaking news anchor for other Fox News programs. His new role will include a new studio, known as The Fox News Deck…

“Shep is a premier journalist and one of the finest newsmen of the modern era,” says Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, who came up with the concept. “He will exemplify the ethos that FOX News is when and where the news is, as it happens, no longer bound by a traditional evening format conceived in the 1960’s.” Ailes hinted at the changes during a 21st Century Fox shareholder meeting in August. “Shep and I have been working quietly on something we will roll out in September on how news is presented, a new way to deliver news,” Ailes said.

So he loses an hour of airtime but, in theory, makes it back via cut-ins during other shows to the “Fox News Deck” for car chases, hurricanes, etc. That’s actually a shrewd branding move on Fox’s part vis-a-vis CNN and MSNBC, I think. Fox dominates MSNBC under normal circumstances but they destroy them when news is breaking, partly because MSNBC, per its president, doesn’t much care about news anymore. It’s a left-wing opinion platform. If they’re going to cede the news-seeking audience to their competitors, Fox will take advantage by rolling out a splashy new “breaking news” division. It’ll also help versus CNN, whose ratings surge every time there’s something big happening. Many TV viewers don’t watch cable news regularly but switch to CNN reflexively when they need urgently to get caught up. Some don’t trust Fox for that because they regard it as nothing but a right-wing opinion platform. Solution: Create a special department devoted exclusively to news that’s led by an anchor who’s well known but not, shall we say, renowned for pushing right-wing opinion, then promote the hell out of it. The next time a bomb goes off somewhere, maybe some of those casual TV viewers will turn to Fox knowing that they’ll see Shep, not O’Reilly or Hannity.

One question, though: Doesn’t Fox’s audience, which skews older, like the idea of an hour of hard news at 7 p.m.? Younger news consumers don’t care about that because they get it online, but older audiences were weaned on TV news during the dinner hours. Then again, those viewers have also been watching Greta for years. No reason to think they’d mind seeing her at 7 instead of Shep.

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Do any of you posters like anybody?
Redford on September 12, 2013 at 8:03 PM

I like Bret Baier, Greta, Martha McCallum and Jamie, who anchors in the morning on Sunday. Also like Bill Hemmer. Harris Faulkner is also good.

Also love Andrea Tantaros.

bluegill on September 12, 2013 at 8:44 PM

Some of the FNC hosts are lame but a lot of the guests they have on make up for it.

TX-eye on September 12, 2013 at 9:01 PM

More Eric Bolling and Cavuto, please.

either orr on September 12, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Megyn Kelly is going to disappoint. The transformation goes like this. She seems mildly conservative, now, while her kids are small. The kids get older and get enrolled in their tony private NYC or Connecticut school. All the mommies there are libs. Megyn starts attending soccer games, school events, etc., and those mean liberal moms intimidate her into adopting more and more of their positions — if not, Madison and Preston (or whatever East Coast nouveau riche name she has chosen for her children) won’t get invited to birthday parties and sleepovers. This is exactly what happened to Gretchen Carlson — kids hit school age, she became a lib — and it’ll happen to Megyn Kelly, too.

Rational Thought on September 12, 2013 at 9:25 PM

Exemplifying the Dilbert Principle, Shep manages to Fail Upwards.

CapnObvious on September 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

I haven’t made a comment for a long time.

I just had to say…

…” ’bout darn time” .

Maybe I’ll actually watch something besides Bret Baier.

Perhaps they’ll finally get rid of O’blowhard too.

Saltysam on September 12, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Send him to msnbc where he belongs. There are too many women at Fox for him to feel comfortable anyway.

peacenprosperity on September 13, 2013 at 12:01 AM

Change on Fox and Friends too. Gretchen Carlson spends her last day on the morning show and moves to her own afternoon show in a few weeks. Elizabeth Hasselbeck joins the morning crew next Monday.

dddave on September 13, 2013 at 6:48 AM

I also like Jenna Lee. She absolutely beat the snot out of Joe Manchin the other day when he attacked her journalism and she said “as a Wife of one of those servicemen who served two tours of duty…” It was awesome. He was falling over himself apologizing to her the rest of the interview.

Anybody see that?

LtT26 on September 13, 2013 at 7:42 AM

This is exactly what happened to Gretchen Carlson — kids hit school age, she became a lib — and it’ll happen to Megyn Kelly, too.

Rational Thought on September 12, 2013 at 9:25 PM

What makes you think Gretchen is a lib? I watch F&F almost every morning and she always came across to me as solidly Conservative.

Decoski on September 13, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Was he reassigned because he refuses to say “Redskins,” or because he’s a dope?

Akzed on September 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM

I don’t like Smith so to me this is welcome news.

neyney on September 13, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Shep reminds me of Ryan Seacrest. Also, neither of them are journalists.

virgo on September 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM