But The News with Shepard Smith, the brainchild of CNBC chairman Mark Hoffman, has struggled to attract the millions of viewers who watched Smith every day for years at Fox News, or to produce the fiery breakout viral moments that defined the later part of his tenure at the conservative cable-news giant. And those struggles have seemingly fostered some turmoil within the network and the show’s staff. This story is based on interviews with nine current and former CNBC staffers...
At least two people with direct knowledge of the situation described Smith as having regular “temper tantrums.” When CNBC announced Smith was joining the business news channel, it tapped Sandy Cannold, a veteran TV producer, to help helm the show along with co-executive producer Sally Ramirez, a veteran of local television. But according to multiple people familiar with the matter, Cannold departed less than six months in, and clashed at times with Smith in front of staff.
Other employees were also frustrated when, in recent weeks, the show laid off two of the few non-white employees on its production team.
Smith’s underperformance in the ratings hasn’t come as a surprise to cable-news insiders.