Chris Wallace leaves Fox News to join CNN's new streaming service

The hire might represent a coup for CNN+ ahead of its launch.

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Jon Fingas
December 12, 2021 1:11 PM
Debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace directs the first 2020 presidential campaign debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden held on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS
POOL New / reuters

CNN just landed a big name for its upcoming streaming video service. The network has revealed that Fox News host Chris Wallace is leaving his TV home of 18 years for CNN+ ahead of that service's early 2022 launch. The departing Fox News Sunday anchor said he was eager for the "freedom and flexibility" streaming would allow for interviewing major figures.

In his last Fox News Sunday show, Wallace said he wanted to both "try something new" and to "go beyond politics." He didn't indicate where he was heading next during that broadcast, however. Wallace is believed to be jumping ship as his contract expires. Fox, meanwhile, said it was "extremely proud" of Wallace's team and would fill his role with a rotating cast of journalists until it named a permanent replacement.

WarnerMedia, meanwhile, wasn't shy about touting its coup. The Wallace hire showed CNN's "commitment" to both CNN+ and journalism as a whole, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said.

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It's too soon to say if CNN's move will prompt a talent war among streaming news outlets like CBSN. Fox News Sunday hasn't always fared well against comparable shows, like Face the Nation. Regardless, Wallace represents a big bet — CNN is clearly hoping his name will draw viewers to its internet-only service and provide an edge over competitors that might only see streaming as a nice-to-have extra.

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