When news of the LAX shooting broke, more viewers tuned to Shepard Smith and his Fox News Deck to find out what was going on than to CNN and MSNBC combined, during the peak hours of the breaking news, 10-1 PM PT. That’s in keeping with FNC’s position relative to its cable news competition in that block of time during the third quarter. That day, FNC logged 1.549 million viewers from 10-1 PM, which was 46% better than its 3rd quarter average in the time period. CNN clocked 807,000 viewers – a 46% spike. MSNBC logged 409,000 viewers – a more modest 13% jump. In the news demo, FNC (292,000) also beat CNN (233,000) and MSNBC (86,000). But CNN’s demo results marked a 60% hike; FNC’s numbers climbed 47%. MSNBC, meanwhile fell 16%.
That night, in primetime FNC (2.042 million) trounced CNN (621,000) and MSNBC (609,000) as well. FNC’s primetime audience grew by 34% compared to 3rd quarter, CNN’s by 32% and MSNBC’s by 25%. In the news demo, FNC (323,000) grew 20%, but CNN (141,000) fell 1%; MSNBC (167,000) grew 13%.
Just over two months after announcing that Megyn Kelly would be moving to primetime later this year, Fox News Channel today made the first move of its anchor pieces. The cable news network said Thursday that as part of a new multi-year deal with FNC inked earlier this summer, Shepard Smith would be moving on from the nightly 7 PM ET Fox Report slot and having his 3 PM slot adapted and expanded. This fall, in a brand new studio, Shepard Smith Reporting will take over where the Smith-hosted Studio B had previously been. Additionally, Smith will also head a newly established multi-platform breaking news division as its Managing Editor. In that role he will break in on-air and online with stories in primetime and throughout FNC’s broadcasting day. “Shep is a premier journalist and one of the finest newsmen of the modern era. 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,” said FNC chief Roger Ailes in a statement today. No word as to what will replace the Fox Report in that desirable 7 PM slot but with Ailes bringing Kelly to primetime and fellow host Sean Hannity and Greta Van Sustern having signed new contracts earlier this year, there are more pieces on the board to move still. In terms of Smith, … Read More »
Fox News Channel today was showing live coverage of an Arizona police chase that ended when the suspect fled the scene, pulled out a handgun and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head — before Fox News could stop the helicopter footage from hitting the air. Fox News cut away from the local station feed immediately after, showing anchor Shepard Smith telling the control booth to “get off, get off, get off”, and went to commercial break. When it returned, Smith apologized on-air (see the video below), saying the feed was on a delay but the network failed in cutting it off in time. It’s clear from Smith’s white-faced explanation that the cable news channel has a protocol for such instances, but this time it didn’t work as intended. (UPDATE: Fox News’ EVP of News Editorial later said in a statement: “We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay. Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”)
Veterans of local Los Angeles news already know the risks of media outlets following car chases too closely, and some TV stations here have guidelines for pulling camera shots away after a chase comes to an end just in case something goes wrong. Others don’t air the chases at all. Here’s Smith’s … Read More »
Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters will anchor ABC’s live coverage of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton beginning at 4 AM ET on April 29, followed by a live West Coast edition of Good Morning America hosted by Robin Roberts live from Westminster Abbey. The wedding caps a bunch of Royal Wedding programming on the network, beginning April 18 with a Special Edition of 20/20: William & Catherine: A Modern Fairytale, anchored by Walters. Throughout the week leading up to the event, GMA, World News With Diane Sawyer, Nightline and 20/20 will broadcast from London.
On Fox News Channel, Shepard Smith and Martha MacCallum will anchor live coverage of the wedding beginning at 4 AM ET. The network’s programming leading up to the event will include the documentary Countdown to the Royal Wedding (April 24) and simulcasts of the UK’s Sky News (April 27-28).
I’ve learned a bit more about Fox News lead news anchor Shepard Smith’s new multi-year deal with the cable channel. Despite reports that it runs through 2013, I hear that it actually kicks in next year when his current pact expires and runs through 2014. And Smith is getting a salary bump over the $7 million – $8 million a year his current contract stipulates. He is already being put to extra work to earn the big new check: Smith will be hosting an Election night special on sister broadcast network Fox next Tuesday when he also will be interviewing Sarah Palin.
EXCLUSIVE: Fox News Channel’s signature news anchor Shepard Smith has signed a new multi-year deal to continue as the channel’s lead news anchor as well as anchor of FOX Report and Studio B. Smith’s most recent pact with Fox News inked in 2007 was for 3 years and nets him $7 million-8 million a year. Fox News is expected to announce Smith’s re-signing this afternoon. Smith, who is a guest on The View today to talk about midterm election coverage will also probably address his new contract on the ABC talk show where his Fox News colleague Bill O’Reilly recently made headlines with his visit.
Smith is one of Fox News’ original stars, having joined the channel at its inception in 1996 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent. For the past 11 years, he has anchored FNC’s signature 7 PM newscast The FOX Report with Shepard Smith since, which has dominated its time slot for more than 100 consecutive months, averaging 1.8 million viewers. He has covered such news events as Hurricane Katrina; the Middle East conflict, 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Columbine school massacre and President Clinton’s impeachment.
UPDATE 12PM: Fox News just officially announced Smith’s new deal. Here is the network’s release:
FOX News Channel (FNC) has re-signed Shepard Smith to a new multi-year deal where he will continue as the network’s lead news anchor, announced Roger Ailes, Chairman and Chief
… Read More »