Wallace announced that he was leaving Fox News Sunday's "Fox News Sunday" program. Within two hours, CNN announced that Wallace was joining the new streaming service as an anchor. CNN+ will debut in the early 2022.
Wallace, 74, stated that "it is the last time" and added, "I say this with great sadness, we will not meet like this." His show airs on Fox and later reruns on Fox News Channel. "Eighteen year ago, Fox bosses promised me that they would not interfere with any guest I booked or answer my questions. They kept their word.
Wallace was a veteran broadcast newsman who worked at ABC News and NBC News before Roger Ailes lured Wallace to Fox with the promise that he would host his own Sunday program. He was methodical and not showy, in contrast to Mike Wallace, his father who was the famous "60 Minutes" reporter. Chris Wallace is known for asking hard questions of guests regardless of their political views.
He was the first Fox News host to moderate a presidential discussion, in 2016, and 2020. He lost the debate he moderated last January when Donald Trump interrupted Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger.
Howard Kurtz, host Fox's Media Buzz, said that Kurtz is "the most persistent interviewer in television," based on intense preparations and persistence. "He may be the greatest debate moderator of all time," Kurtz added.
Kurtz stated that it was a "major loss for Fox News, there's no doubt about it."
Wallace was a co-operative member of Fox's opinion side. He did not take them on public, but he stated that it was "bad form", when opinion hosts criticized the media in 2017.
He was privately dissatisfied with Fox's overall tone, which has seen conservative opinion hosts elevated and amplified after the network's ratings suffered a short hit following the 2020 election. Two news executives were fired by the network for making the incorrect, but controversial, Election Night declaration that Biden had won Arizona. This call angered Republican Trump.
Wallace had previously expressed concern over the Fox executives' opinion programming multiple times. This was especially after Tucker Carlson's documentary, "Patriot Purge," on Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection. It aired on Fox's streaming platform. Jonah Goldberg (Fox News contributor) and Stephen Hayes (Fox News contributor) cited this program as a reason for quitting the network.
Wallace was part of a prominent trio of Fox news anchors who were straight-news reporters. They offered an alternative to Sean Hannity and Carlson. Shepard Smith left Fox in 2019, and now hosts a news program at CNBC. Bret Baier, host of an evening news program based in Washington, remains at Fox.
His track record gave Wallace an enormous amount of autonomy at Fox, despite its overall tilt. He stated that he was free to report as best he could, to cover the important stories, and to hold the leaders accountable. It's been an amazing ride.
It was a surprise that he announced it; even his guests on Sunday weren't aware they would be seeing his final.
Wallace was nearing the end of his Fox contract, which is quite different from Smith's departure. He declined a multiyear extension to his contract and a pay increase in order to leave CNN.
Fox stated that they are proud of their journalism and the outstanding team Chris Wallace made for 18 years. "Fox News Sunday will be remembered."
Fox announced that Wallace will be replaced until a successor is chosen by a rotating group of guest anchors including Baier John Roberts and Shannon Bream. Jennifer Griffin, Neil Cavuto and Dana Perino.
Wallace stated that he wanted "to try something new, and to go beyond politics to all of the things I am interested in."
He stated that he was looking forward to streaming and the freedom it affords to interview major news figures -- and find new ways to tell stories."
CNN stated that more information about Wallace's new job will be available. He is the most prominent among the new hires at CNN+. The company also hired Kasie Hunt, an ex-NBC News anchor, and Scott Galloway, a business journalist.