News producer Sally Ramirez is making her national debut with CNBC’s The News With Shepard Smith, premiering September 30 at 7p.
As a seasoned news producer, who has led local newsrooms forward during some of the most challenging times including Hurricane Harvey, what is it like to transition to a national platform at this time?
Well, Harvey battle tested me. That’s for sure! We lost our entire station to hurricane floodwaters. As a station, the different departments worked remotely. As a newsroom, we were forced to work in a one-room makeshift newsroom for 18 months. So, I joke that as long as I have a building, I’m good! In reality, a building doesn’t make a station or impact our journalism. The people are who matter most. Same applies now. COVID means many of my new CNBC colleagues are working on this show remotely. I haven’t met many in person, but I can already tell you, they are the best of the best. CNBC has made sure we have the right people in the right roles and the best tools and technology needed to serve our audience. In the end, the hours are the same, the instincts are the same, as are the standards. But, a national platform gives us a bigger reach at a time when facts and truth matter more than ever.
As a producer, mother and voice within the Latinx community, what are your goals for new program? Are there specific skills from those roles that you think help lead this new team forward?
The news of the day will dictate the stories that we do. The content will be grounded in facts, but we will tell stories. You will see my imprint and my background in the guests, the contributors and the content and story angles that we enterprise. My 31-year journalism career has allowed me to live and work in big, medium and small cities from coast-to-coast. I’ve covered everything from natural disasters to events that lead to national mourning or celebrations. What I remember most from covering those events, are the people impacted. Their stories stay with you regardless of the years that pass. That is something we don’t want to forget when we are producing this show – the stories should be about the people. Speaking of people, The News with Shepard Smith team is not only ethnically diverse, it’s diverse in work and life experiences. Everyone on this team is here for a reason. We know our voices matter to the editorial process.
What’s your vision for this new high-profile newscast at a time of national unrest and uncertainty?
Straight facts, with no slant. Our journalism will help people make INFORMED decisions. But, we not only inform, we inspire. This hour is a combination of big news of the day along with unique memorable storytelling and elements to set us apart. Every story earns its place in this show. We provide context to the complex. We explain the “why.” We provide a voice for the voiceless and allow people to see themselves in our stories. We reflect America. We let the content dictate the hour. We aren’t afraid to turn the show into a single topic when warranted. We will take on topics that make some people uncomfortable, but they’ll walk away better informed and appreciative of the respectful conversation. There is no doubt about it, Shepard Smith is the right person to be shepherding this show at this time. I appreciate that he believes I’m the right partner for him as we create a broadcast worthy of the viewers’ time. I know from Shep’s leadership and success in the past, that what viewers will see every night will be familiar, consistent and in pursuit of the truth.
Shepard is well-known from his time at Fox News. What are the similarities/differences with this new show on CNBC?
I would never presume to speak for any other show, I’m just excited to create Shep’s next show! We will bring you the news of the day, without bias. We will provide context and clarity to the facts. There will be experts and newsmakers who join Shep. We will also make it a point to bring you the great things that are happening in the country and around the world. We want this show to inform and inspire you.