CNBC plans to join the early-evening cable-news fray in a bigger way come late September.
The NBCUniversal-owned business-news outlet said it would launch “The News With Shepard Smith,” billed as a “newscast providing deep, non-partisan coverage and perspective on the day’s most important stories,” at 7 p.m. on September 30, placing the network in more direct competition with rivals like CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and Fox Business News, all of which offer broader news or opinion programming at that time. CNBC at present starts to air reality-competition programming and documentary series after 7 p.m.
“In my more than 30 years in journalism, there has never been a better or more critical time to launch a non-partisan, fact-based evening newscast,” said Smith in a prepared statement. “From the ongoing pandemic to the election and the economy, the mission of this program is to cover the most important news of the day with depth and clarity. Each night, we will be bold, we will be direct and we will deliver the truth to our viewers.”
The role is Smith’s first since he left Fox News Channel abruptly after a tenure there that lasted more than two decades.
Sandy Cannold, a veteran CNBC producer, will serve as the program’s senior executive producer, and Sally Ramirez, formerly executive news director at Houston’s KHOU, a CBS affilate, will work as executive producer of the hour-long program, which the network says will feature reporting from around the world, compelling images and expert guests. The program will “deliver the day’s news that goes well beyond headlines and political punditry,” said Dan Colarusso, CNBC’s senior vice president of business news, in a statement. “We are going to tell stories and show images that make sense of an increasingly complicated world.”
Cannold, was most recently executive producer of two CNBC daytime programs, “The Exchange” and “Power Lunch,” and prior to that supervised “Squawk Box,” the network’s signature morning program. He is a former executive producer of “The Week With George Staphanopoulos” at ABC News. Ramirez led a team of more than 100 journalists at KHOU and spent 17 years at KGW in Portland, Oregon, rising to the role of assistant news director.