CNN soon after announced that Wallace would become an anchor at CNN Plus, the streaming service being set up by WarnerMedia.
"I am thrilled to join CNN Plus. After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming. I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape—and finding new ways to tell stories," said Wallace.
At the end of Fox News Sunday, Wallace said “after 18 years this is my final Fox News Sunday. It is the last time, and I say this with real sadness, we will meet like this.”
Wallace said that his bosses at Fox promised they would never interfere with a guest he booked or a question he asked. “They kept that promise and I have been free to report to the best of my ability to cover the stories I think are important to hold our country’s leaders to account. It’s been a great ride.”
Wallace, the son of legendary 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace, noted that he’s interviewed every U.S. President since George H.W. Bush and sat down with Vladimir Putin of Russia and Emanuel Macron of France.
"It may sound corny, but I feel we’ve built a community here. There’s a lot you can do on Sundays. The fact you’ve chosen to spend this hour with us is something I cherish. But after 18 years, I have decided to leave Fox. I want to try something new, to go beyond politics to all the things I’m interested in. I’m ready for a new adventure. And I hope you’ll check it out.”
Fox News, in a statement said, “We are extremely proud of our journalism and the stellar team that Chris Wallace was a part of for 18 years. The legacy of Fox News Sunday will continue with our star journalists, many of whom will rotate in the position until a permanent host is named.”
Media Matters for America, a persistent Fox critic, said Wallace leaving would make the news network more one-sided.
“Fox executives routinely pointed to Chris Wallace in defending themselves from criticism that the network is a dangerous propaganda channel," said Media Matters president Angelo Carusone. "Wallace gave Fox News a thin veneer of respectability; and now, the veneer is gone."
CNN Plus is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2022.
"It is not often that a news organization gets the opportunity to bring someone of Chris Wallace’s caliber on board. He is as fine a journalist as there is in our business. This speaks volumes about our commitment to journalism and CNN Plus, and we are thrilled to have Chris on the ground floor of helping us build the next generation of CNN and news," said Jeff Zucker, chairman, WarnerMedia News and Sports and president, CNN Worldwide.
Before joining Fox, Wallace worked at ABC News for 14 years where he served as the chief correspondent for Primetime Thursday and a substitute host for Nightline. Prior to ABC, Wallace was NBC's chief White House correspondent and moderated Meet the Press. He also anchored the Sunday edition of NBC Nightly News. Wallace began his career as a city hall reporter for the Boston Globe.
In August, CNN Plus announced the hiring of its first anchor, former NBC News and MSNBC Way Too Early host Kasie Hunt. But the platform has many other key talent slots to fill before launch. In June, it said it would be giving Scott Galloway a show about tech, business and society. ■
— with Daniel Frankel and John Eggerton
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.