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Chris Wallace Learns His Fate After Collapse of CNN Streaming Service

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has found a new home after the collapse of CNN’s streaming service CNN+.

It was announced on Wednesday that Wallace, the former host of “Fox News Sunday,” will bring his new show, “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” to HBO Max with Sunday airings on CNN.

“I’ve never had more fun developing a program and am looking forward to bringing it to both HBO Max and CNN audiences,” the host said, The Washington Post reported.

“Part of the CNN brand is respectful, authentic, and impactful interviews and one of the best interviewers in the business is Chris Wallace,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said.

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“Chris and his team developed an engaging and compelling program that we’re excited to bring to HBO Max and include in our CNN Sunday evening programming.”

“Two weeks ago, streaming was king,” Wallace said after the announcement that CNN+ was done.

“Now suddenly streaming is in an ICU on life support. I have absolutely no idea which is right and which is wrong, but the Discovery people are in charge and so they’ve made the decision,” the anchor said.

“I’m in good shape, whether it’s CNN or someplace else.

“Frankly, what I’m mostly concerned about right now, and very, is my team and hundreds of other people that had jobs at CNN+,” he said.

“Some of them had left CNN to go to streaming.

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“Some of them had left other places, moved across the country,” he said.

“And so, I think you’re seeing a lot of the anchors at CNN+ doing everything they can to protect the people that were working on their team and to make sure they either get a safe landing at CNN or someplace else,” Wallace said.

Licht,, who came onboard after Jeff Zucker left the company, appears to want to take the network in a more straight news direction and away from partisan politics.

“I think we can be a beacon in regaining that trust by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics of journalism,” he said in a memo to staff.

“Fearlessly speaking truth to power, Challenging the status quo, Questioning ‘group-think’ and educating viewers and readers with straightforward facts and insightful commentary while always being respectful of differing viewpoints,” he said.

“First and foremost, we should, and we will be advocates for the truth,” he said.

Variety reported:

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“The next chapter in CNN is one where we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism essential to a functioning democracy,” he said. “At a time where extremes are dominating  cable news, we will seek to go a different way reflecting the real lives of our viewers and elevating the way America and the world view this medium.”

He also suggested that CNN would start a new morning show in the fall. “I’m gonna be honest here: We are seeking to be a disrupter of the broadcast morning shows in this space,” he said. “We believe we have the people and resources who can do it.”

“We intend to challenge the traditional philosophy of cable news, delivering programming and commentary that questions the status quo shatters groupthink, holds our leaders on both sides of the aisle and accountable to facts and fights fearlessly to get to the truth,” he said.

In April Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson and Greg Gutfeld danced on the grave of CNN+, the streaming service of competitor CNN, and former Fox News host Chris Wallace.

On an episode of “The Five” Carlson and Gutfeld trumpeted the success of the Fox News streaming service Fox Nation and quipped about hiring Wallace to come back to Fox News for that.

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“Now that CNN+ is defunct, has Fox Nation considered rehiring Chris Wallace?” Gutfeld said to Carlson.

“We could probably get him at a discount,” he said sarcastically. “And I’ve seen that he interviews a lot of very interesting people?”

“We had a meeting about him this morning in my office,” Carlson quipped. “I was like ‘No he just failed.”

“One of my producers goes, ‘you know he’s Mike Wallace’s son?’” Carlson said while laughing. “Done! He’s got to be good.”

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“I defy you to find any reasonable person who ever believed that viewers would pay extra money for the dregs of CNN when it was competing for their wallets with Netflix and Disney Plus,” a former CNN producer said to Fox News. “Do you want to watch ‘The Mandalorian’ or extra Brian Stelter?”

The reference to “The Mandalorian” is a nod to the Disney+ streaming service.

“There should be consequences for the CNN executives who rammed the launch through despite Discovery clearly telegraphing their skepticism,” they said. “Everything should have been paused the day Jeff Zucker was fired because no one else at that level ever thought CNN+ could work.”

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