Last month, the CNN+ platform crashed under poor ratings less than a month after its launch, leaving in its wake new host Chris Wallace and approximately 300 employees. Today it was announced the veteran newscaster will assume a new role at CNN — host of a primetime show on CNN’s Sunday evening lineup.
Network execs announced the new show at a Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront presentation.
The New York Post reports that in addition to a weekly show on CNN’s primetime lineup, Wallace’s show will also air on the HBO Max streaming service.
In a bold move, Wallace’s new interview-centric program will retain the same name — “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” — that it used on CNN+, which posted meager ratings.
Seeking to pique interest, Wallace said of the new show:
“‘Who’s Talking?’ is a rare show built for streaming that gives newsmakers the opportunity to have candid conversations and an open dialogue about the issues of the day and whatever is on their minds. I’ve never had more fun developing a program and am looking forward to bringing it to both HBO Max and CNN audiences.”
CNN Worldwide CEO Chris Licht added: “Part of the CNN brand is respectful, authentic and impactful interviews and one of the best interviewers in the business is Chris Wallace. Chris and his team developed an engaging and compelling program that we’re excited to bring to HBO Max and include in our CNN Sunday evening programming.”
After serving with Fox for almost 20 years, Wallace expressed a desire to operate in a less conservative environment. He left Fox and signed with CNN last December.
The new CNN+ streaming service was pulled about four weeks after its launch, due to dismal ratings. At the time Wallace said:
“Frankly, what I’m mostly concerned about right now — and very — is my team and hundreds of other people.”
The Post previously reported that some insiders believe CNN had “overspent on talent on CNN+ — including Wallace’s $9 million-per-year deal.”
Reporting on Wallace’s new role, Axios noted that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said:
“At a time where most news networks are advocacy networks, we at CNN intend to advocate for journalism first.”
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