Chris Wallace seems to be a man without a country. His departure from Fox News was not ideal, prompting his peers to warn CNN that “Your New Hire Will Only Ever Be Loyal to Himself.” With the collapse of the CNN+ streaming service, Wallace’s broadcasting future is in doubt.
Wallace had high hopes that his new interview show, “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?,” which would be free from the conservative fetters associated with Fox News, would resonate with CNN’s left-leaning base.
But CNN+’s dismal numbers led executives to ax the highly touted streaming service less than one month after its debut. Wallace’s program is just one of the casualties.
On Sunday, the Common Ground Committee asked Wallace about his future. A subdued Wallace acknowledged that he doesn’t yet have any news to share.
“I am going to be fine,” Wallace said. “I’m in good shape, whether it’s at CNN or someplace else. Frankly, what I’m mostly concerned about right now – and very – is my team and hundreds of other people.”
Wallace added: “There were 300 people, I think, that had jobs at CNN+. Some of them had left CNN to go to streaming, some of them had left other places, moved across the country, 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.”
The New York Post reports that Warner Bros. Discovery terminated approximately 300 CNN+ staff as part of cost-cutting measures after the $5.99 per-month service initiative failed to garner public support.
Pointing to issues with technology rather than concerns over content, Wallace said his new bosses came “to the conclusion that having a narrow, niche product like a news streaming service doesn’t work.”
“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,” Wallace added.
The Post reported that some at CNN believed the network had “overspent on talent” to support the streaming platform. Wallace’s salary was said to be approximately $9 million per year.
Wallace is expected to be reassigned within the network or the broader Warner Bros. Discovery media corporation. Notably, his name has been floated as a possible replacement for famed ex-anchor Chris Cuomo, who is suing CNN for wrongful termination.
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