Chris Wallace announces exit from Fox News: 'I want to try something new'

·4 min read
Chris Wallace is leaving FOX News Sunday. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS)
Chris Wallace is leaving FOX News Sunday. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via REUTERS)

Updated, Sunday 11:45 am: This article has been updated to reflect confirmation of Wallace's move to CNN+.

Cable news is getting another shakeup.

A week after CNN announced that Chris Cuomo had been terminated, longtime Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace has revealed that he is leaving Fox News for CNN's upcoming streaming service. Wallace, 74, broke the news during the Dec. 12 broadcast, which will be his last appearance on the Sunday morning news program. A series of guest hosts will take over hosting duties until a permanent replacement is found.

"After 18 years — this is my final Fox News Sunday," Wallace, who had hosted the long-running show since 2003, told viewers on Sunday. "It is the last time — and I say this with real sadness — we will meet like this. Eighteen years ago, the bosses here at Fox promised me they would never interfere with a guest I booked or a question I asked. And they kept that promise. I have been free to report to the best of my ability, to cover the stories I think are important, to hold our country’s leaders to account.

"It’s been a great ride," the son of the late legendary journalist Mike Wallace continued. "We’ve covered five presidential elections, interviewed every president since George H.W. Bush, traveled the world — sitting down with France’s Emanuel Macron and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. And I’ve gotten to spend Sunday mornings with you. It may sound corny, but I feel we’ve built a community here. There’s a lot you can do on Sundays. The fact you’ve chosen to spend this hour with us is something I cherish."

Wallace, who served as a moderator for the presidential debates in both 2016 and 2020 and was known for his tough, incisive questioning of public figures on both sides of the political aisle, did not go into detail about what's prompted his exit, expressing only his desire to "try something new" and "go beyond politics."

Video: Chris Wallace discusses 2020 final presidential debate

"But after 18 years, I have decided to leave Fox," he shared. "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. And I hope you’ll check it out. And so — for the last time, dear friends — that’s it for today. Have a great week. And I hope you’ll keep watching Fox News Sunday.”

In a statement shared with Yahoo Entertainment, representatives for the network confirmed that its "star journalists" will temporarily host the show on a rotating basis in Wallace's absence.

“We are extremely proud of our journalism and the stellar team that Chris Wallace was a part of for 18 years," the statement reads. "The legacy of Fox News Sunday will continue with our star journalists, many of whom will rotate in the position until a permanent host is named.”

After anonymous sources told Variety and Mediaite that Wallace planned to jump to the new streaming service CNN+, which launches in 2022, the network formally confirmed their new hire.

"Chris Wallace is joining CNN as an anchor for CNN+, the much-anticipated streaming subscription service that will debut in Q1 2022," a statement from the network reads.

The statement includes a quote from Wallace sharing that he is "thrilled" to join CNN.

"After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming. I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape— and finding new ways to tell stories," he said. "As I embark on this adventure, I am honored and delighted to join Jeff Zucker and his great team. I can’t wait to get started."

CNN also revealed that Wallace's new weekday show will "feature interviews with newsmakers across politics, business, sports and culture." Its debut will be timed with the launch of CNN+.

"It is not often that a news organization gets the opportunity to bring someone of Chris Wallace’s caliber on board. He is as fine a journalist as there is in our business. This 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," added Jeff Zucker, chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports and president of CNN Worldwide.