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'Fox News Sunday' to mark 25 years on air

'Fox News Sunday' to mark 25 years on air
© AFP/Pool

"Fox News Sunday" will mark its 25th year on the air this weekend, a milestone for the Sunday show that has bolstered the news division of Fox and made a star of its current anchor, Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSunday shows - Biden foreign policy in focus Pompeo defends Trump on Russia in Chris Wallace interview Lewandowski says Trump has not spoken to him about being reinstated MORE.

The program will air a special broadcast on Sunday to denote the anniversary of its launch on April 28, 1996. The broadcast will include a retrospective on the show's history and some of its most newsworthy interviews, as well as how the world and political landscape has changed since the show first aired 25 years ago. 

Chris Wallace has hosted "Fox News Sunday" for nearly 20 years, making him the elder statesman among Sunday shows that air on Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN. Still, at 25 years, the "Fox News Sunday" show is the newest of the bunch.

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"At 25 years, we're still the new kid on the block of Sunday shows. And that's the way we view ourselves-working hard every week to book the best guests and make the most news," Chris Wallace, who has anchored the show since 2003, said in a statement to The Hill.

"For me personally, it has been the most satisfying job of my half century in journalism," Wallace added. "Whether it's big guests like Putin and Macron, or sitting down with every President since Bush 41, or the leaders of government, business, and culture we speak to each week-it's an honor and a pleasure to share interesting, probing conversations with our viewers."

Wallace, who is 73, took over as anchor in 2003 after spending more than a decade at ABC News. He followed the late Tony Snow, who left at the time to serve as press secretary for former President George W. Bush.

Wallace's tough interviews of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and international figures have earned him acclaim, including an Emmy Award for his 2018 interview of Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinHillicon Valley: Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC | Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cyber during summit with Putin | TSA working on additional security regulations following Colonial Pipeline hack Overnight Defense: Top admiral shoots back at criticism of 'woke' military | Military guns go missing | New White House strategy to battle domestic extremism Lawmakers urge Biden to be tough on cybersecurity during summit with Putin MORE.

In a memo to network employees obtained by The Hill, Fox News Media president and executive editor Jay Wallace praised the “Fox News Sunday” team and singled out Wallace for turning the program into “must-see Sunday morning television.”

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"Chris likes to say he is similar to an umpire in a baseball game, calling balls and strikes as he sees them," Jay Wallace wrote in the memo. "He doesn’t pull punches, equally grilling Washington luminaries on both sides of the aisle which has greatly contributed to the success and longevity of the program."

The show has in recent weeks leading up to the anniversary aired clips of notable moments in its history.

The montages feature news-making interviews Wallace did with former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyMystery surrounds Justice's pledge on journalist records NYT publisher: DOJ phone records seizure a 'dangerous incursion' on press freedom Trump DOJ seized phone records of New York Times reporters MORE in December 2019 over the bureau's investigation into the Trump campaign, with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in October 2004 about the intelligence that led to the war in Iraq, and with House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseDemocrat says he won't introduce resolution to censure Greene after her apology House fails to pass bill to promote credit fairness for LGTBQ-owned businesses The Memo: Homegrown extremism won't be easily tamed MORE (La.) in December in which Wallace questioned him on his efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election.

The retrospectives also featured interviews Wallace has done with each living president dating back to George H.W. Bush. One featured clip came from a sit-down Wallace did with then-President TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE last summer in which he pressed Trump over the country's soaring coronavirus death rate. Trump at one point asked an aide to bring him charts he said would disprove Wallace's fact-checks, but the documents did no such thing.

Wallace's style has also bolstered Fox News at a time when its opinion hosts frequently spark controversy and after four years in which critics attacked the network for its lack of critical coverage of the Trump administration and the close relationship between the former president and some of its opinion hosts. Dominion Voting Systems sued the network last month, alleging some of its hosts spread false claims about election fraud that damaged the companies reputation.