Media

Politics, media worlds react to Wallace news

The worlds of politics and media reacted with shock to the news that “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace is leaving the network after 18 years to join CNN’s new streaming service.

Wallace announced during his program on Sunday that it would be his final broadcast, telling viewers he wanted to “try something new, to go beyond politics to all the things I’m interested in.”

Shortly after, CNN announced that the veteran journalist would be joining the network’s new streaming service, CNN+, to helm a weekday show starting early next year.

Wallace, during his departure announcement at the end of Sunday’s show, said it was with “real sadness” that it would be the last time he and his viewers “will meet like this,” adding, “It’s been a great ride.”

In a statement from CNN, Wallace said, “After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming,” pointing to the “new freedom and flexibility” streaming offers.

Wallace, the son of veteran journalist and famed “60 Minutes” correspondent Mike Wallace, first joined Fox News in 2003. Before that, he worked at ABC News, NBC News and the Boston Globe.

He has been regarded as an even-handed journalist and tough questioner who would frequently challenge lawmakers from both parties. He covered five presidential elections at Fox and has interviewed every president since George H.W. Bush.

Wallace made headlines in 2020 following the first presidential debate between former President Trump and then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden, which was marked by constant interruptions. Some criticized the veteran journalist for not having control over the debate.

The debate commission implemented a mute button for the next debate so the candidates could not talk over each other.

Politicians and top media figures applauded Wallace for his tenure at “Fox News Sunday” following his announcement on Sunday, hailing the anchor as a fair journalist.

“Thank you, Chris Wallace, for the years of truth & honesty,” Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) wrote on Twitter.

“I trust that what’s in store for you will be rewarding & impactful but even if not, you’ve already served with uncommon grace & generosity of spirit. You kindled the passion of your dad & took it to even greater heights,” he added.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was Wallace’s final interview on “Fox News Sunday,” said he was “shocked” to learn that Wallace was leaving the show, adding, “Chris challenged everyone fairly and tried to give his viewers the best information to evaluate issues.”

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time on the show,” Graham said.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) congratulated Wallace for “a hell of a Sunday morning run” before applauding the anchor’s integrity and questioning.

“Each week Chris brought integrity and a relentless but fair quest for the truth to the interviewer’s chair. Farewell, Chris and best wishes for what’s ahead,” Swalwell said.

Fox News host Bret Baier said he was sad to see his colleague leave the network, pointing out his “amazing run.” 

“Chris -I wish you well with your next adventure. It was an honor to work alongside you all these years,” he added.

Brit Hume, senior political analyst at Fox News, said he was “sad to see him go.” Hume said he and Wallace have been friends since they covered Congress in the late 1970s.

“I wish him all the best in his next adventures,” Hume added.

CNN anchor and chief national affairs analyst Kasie Hunt, who recently joined the network from NBC News in August, said she “could not be more excited to have Chris Wallace as a colleague.” They are both slated to work for CNN+.

 

CNN chief national affairs correspondent Jeff Zeleny congratulated Wallace on joining CNN, writing, “He’s one of the best journalists of our time, a beacon of truth and a great fella to boot. Welcome my friend!”

Tags Chris Wallace Donald Trump Eric Swalwell Joe Biden Lindsey Graham Mitt Romney Neera Tanden

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