Shepherd Smith joined Fox News at its inception in 1996 and worked there for 23 years. He drew high ratings at the channel and even matching up with network anchors like CBS’s Dan Rather and ABC’s Peter Jennings as the most-trusted news anchor. Smith became a star, and in 2007 signed a three-year contract for $7-$8 million per year.
But Smith, now 56, grew disgruntled with the network and stunned viewers in October 2019 when he announced he was leaving. Smith didn’t reappear for nearly a year, finally returning to news Sept. 30 at CNBC.
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