- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Chris Wallace doesn’t know where he’ll be working next but says he’s in “good shape” after jumping ship from Fox News to CNN+, only to see the nascent streaming service scuttled after one month.

“I am going to be fine. I’m in good shape whether it’s CNN or someplace else,” Mr. Wallace said during a virtual panel hosted Sunday by the Common Ground Committee. “What I’m mostly concerned about right now, and very, is my team and hundreds of other people.”

At the same time, he said he doesn’t know what the future holds for him following Warner Bros. Discovery’s decision Thursday to pull the plug on the newly launched streaming service, effective April 30, after a $300 million investment under the previous management.

Asked by moderator Jacqueline Adams if he could “make news” by revealing his next move, Mr. Wallace said, “No, I can’t make news, and no, I don’t know.”

“We’ll see. I mean, my gosh, Jackie, it just happened on Thursday, give me a couple of days,” he said with a laugh.

The 74-year-old newsman has a history of network-hopping. He worked for ABC and NBC before his 18-year stint at Fox, which ended in December when he left to host his own interview show on CNN+.

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Incoming CNN Worldwide chairman and CEO Chris Licht said during last week’s town hall meeting with employees that he would try to absorb CNN+ staffers into the cable network, CNN reported.

“There were 300 people I think that had jobs at CNN+. Some of them had left CNN to go to streaming, some of them had left other places, moved across the country, and so I think you’re seeing a lot of the anchors at CNN+ doing everything they can to protect the people that were working on their team and make sure they either get a safe landing at CNN or someplace else,” said Mr. Wallace.

CNN+ was the pet project of former CNN President Jeff Zucker, who resigned in February. The network was part of the merger finalized earlier this month between WarnerMedia and Discovery.

The new leadership envisions a streaming service that combines the company’s media holdings, which include the Discovery Channel, HBO and Warner Bros. Entertainment, instead of a stand-alone offering like CNN+.

Streaming services like Hulu have increasingly moved to bring on advertising as they lose subscribers, while CNN+ was subscriber-supported.

Mr. Wallace pointed out that the streaming industry is in flux, adding that “I’ve been, you know, a victim of all this in the last week.”

“Two weeks ago, streaming was king. Now we’ve had the decision on CNN+, we’ve had the bad forecast about subscribers at Netflix, and suddenly streaming is in an ICU on life support,” Mr. Wallace said. “I think that probably the positive view of streaming and the negative view of streaming were both wildly exaggerated, and we’re just going to have to wait and see.”

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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