Former Fox News host and soon-to-be-former CNN+ anchor Chris Wallace is not sweating the coming shutdown of the streaming service, saying while he’s uncertain what comes next he is in “good shape whether it’s at CNN or someplace else.”
In what will come as a surprise to few, Wallace also sees himself as the real “victim” here.
Wallace was participating in a livestream event from Common Ground Committee titled, “Media, Politics, and Polarization,” and was asked if streaming platforms are “already over” by moderator Jacqueline Adams, a former CBS News correspondent who referenced the “elephant in the room,” according to Mediaite.
“Wow that was quick,” Wallace replied. “It’s an interesting thing and I’ve been a victim of all of this in the last week.”
“The idea was you’ve got to get a foothold in the streaming world because that’s where the future of news off the mainstream networks is going to be,” Wallace continued. “Now you have some equally smart people that have come in with a diametrically opposed view, these are the new bosses at CNN+ because of [the Warner Bros. Discovery merger] who have come to the conclusion that to have a narrow niche product like a news streaming service doesn’t work.”
“I have absolutely no idea which is right and wrong, but the Discovery people are in charge and so they made the decision,” he said.
Chris Wallace on the different approach to streaming from previous CNN leaders and Discovery people, who wanted 1 big service: “I have absolutely no idea which is right and which is wrong, but the Discovery people are in charge, so they made the decision.” #CommonGroundEvent
— Jeremy Barr (@jeremymbarr) April 25, 2022
Wallace said “a number of streaming services including Netflix [are] deciding that maybe you need a cheaper service where you do have to pay a subscription fee but you’re going to have ads as well,” after pointing out that ABC, CBS and NBC offer ad-supported free streaming.
“You’re not just going to be able to watch, oh what, ‘Squid Game,’ for an hour uninterrupted,” he said.
Wallace is considered a front-runner for a primetime show on CNN, according to The Wrap, which cited insiders to note that he faces competition from external rivals Brian Williams and Keith Olbermann.
“The coming days will ignite a potential reshuffle of the cable network’s lineup, with six CNN+ hosts vying for new assignments or expanded roles after the streamer abruptly shuttered just three weeks after launch,” The Wrap reported. “Wallace, the star newsman lured from rival Fox News last December, is the internal favorite to switch over to the broadcast channel and inherit the 9 p.m. bully pulpit left open since Chris Cuomo was fired late last year.”
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