Chris Wallace to Host New CNN Show As Network Plans to ‘Advocate for Journalism First”

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During its upfront presentation on Wednesday, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that Chris Wallace will anchor a Sunday evening show on CNN later this year.

Axios first reported the news, citing two sources.

CNN says Who’s Talking, which aired on the now-defunct CNN+, will shift to linear television on Sundays but stream on HBO Max earlier in the week.

Last year, CNN hired Wallace to host the interview show on the CNN+ service at a salary of $9 million, which will carry over to his new role.

The move suggests that CNN will not name Wallace the host of the 9 pm hour, Chris Cuomo’s former spot, a slot for which CNN insiders called him the favorite.

Though former network president Jeff Zucker hired Wallace, new management seems fond of him. CNN featured Wallace heavily on election coverage Tuesday, on the main set with anchor Anderson Cooper.

Discovery appears to believe that Wallace fits into its plans to restore credibility. CEO David Zaslav reiterated this point during the upfront presentation, saying, “at a time where most news networks are advocacy networks, we at CNN intend to advocate for journalism first.”

One would argue that it’s hard to “advocate for journalism first” while employing Don Lemon and Brianna Keilar.

And Wallace is hardly the solution to that quest. Discovery is naive to believe that Wallace will lead CNN back to a place of honor. Wallace is a skilled interviewer and has credentials, but he’s also not respected among conservative viewers, whom network president Chris Licht plans to claw back in.

As for the success of his upcoming Sunday show, there’s not much reason to be optimistic. CNN has a small reach on weekends — see Jim Acosta’s viewership — and Wallace has never proven to move the needle in the ratings. But we wish them luck.

Quite a recent trajectory for one Chris Wallace. From moderating the 2020 Presidential Debate and hosting Fox News Sunday to CNN+ for a few weeks to now evenings on CNN.

Note: article is updated with official programming details from the CNN upfront presentation.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack is a writer for OutKick where he reports and analyzes the latest topics in media, culture, sports, and politics..

Burack has become a prominent voice in media and has been featured on several shows across OutKick and industry related podcasts and radio stations.


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