Colleagues 'Shellshocked' After Chris Wallace Leaves Fox News For CNN

Damir Mujezinovic

Veteran anchor Chris Wallace ended his broadcast on Sunday with a shocking announcement.

"It is the last time -- and I say this with real sadness -- we will meet like this," he told Fox News viewers.

"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," is how Wallace ended his broadcast, without offering an explanation.

On Monday morning, it was revealed that Wallace left Fox News to join CNN's upcoming streaming service CNN Plus.

CNN Plus

CNN Plus, which is also stylized as CNN+, is launching in early 2022 and Wallace will host a show featuring interviews with people "across politics, business, sports and culture."

CNN president Jeff Zucker said in a statement that the 74-year-old anchor's appointment "speaks volumes about our commitment to journalism and CNN+, and we are thrilled to have Chris on the ground floor of helping us build the next generation of CNN and news."

But why did Wallace decide to leave Fox News after 18 years?

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Leaving Fox News

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Wallace is known as a tough interviewer, as he tends to pose challenging questions to all of his guests, regardless of their political affiliation.

His tendency to treat Democratic and Republican politicians equally and grill them in interviews stood out on Fox News, which has -- especially in recent years -- leaned into hyper-partisan coverage.

Wallace has reportedly objected to some of his colleagues' biased coverage, especially to popular host Tucker Carlson over his "conspiratorial content."

Unlike other Fox hosts, Wallace has repeatedly criticized former President Donald Trump, once accusing him of engaging in "the most direct, sustained assault on the free press in our history."

'Shellshocked' Colleagues

Most people at Fox News had no idea Wallace was leaving, a person familiar with the matter told The Washington Post.

News of Wallace leaving reportedly left many of his now-former colleagues "shellshocked." The network has not named a replacement for Wallace as host of Fox News Sunday yet -- several anchors will rotate in the position until a permanent replacement is found.

According to Carl Cameron, who worked for Fox News for 22 years, Wallace always "worked hard" on his show and was "cautious" about getting into internal disputes.

Reactions

Fox News issued a brief statement after Wallace announced his departure, saying "we are extremely proud of our journalism and the stellar team that Chris Wallace was a part of for 18 years."

"Sad to see Chris go -- he's had an amazing run at Fox News Sunday," host Bret Baier wrote in a tweet.

"Chris Wallace had an incredible run. He served as a great example of how to do news - and do it well - during tumultuous and often disorienting times. It was an honor to appear on his panel. Eager to see what comes next," former Fox News commentator Stephen Hayes said on Twitter.

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