Former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace is rumored to fill Chris Cuomo's primetime CNN slot, according to a report. Another possible replacement for the former host of "Cuomo Prime Time" is former MSNBC anchor Brian Williams.
In December, Chris Cuomo was fired by CNN president Jeff Zucker. Cuomo was terminated for allegedly assisting his brother – then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) – on how to repel sexual harassment allegations made against him.
Zucker suddenly resigned in February, claiming that he hid a romantic relationship with Allison Gollust – CNN's executive vice president. The revelation of the romantic relationship was purportedly discovered during the investigation into Chris Cuomo.
Now, incoming CNN boss Chris Licht will attempt to rebuild the struggling cable news network. His first major decision is determining who will fill the vacant "Cuomo Prime Time" slot.
"Former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace is one name being floated internally to take the key 9 p.m. slot. Javier De Diego, currently the supervising producer on 'The Lead with Jake Tapper,' will become exec producer of Wallace's CNN+ show, it was announced on Monday)," the Daily Beast reported.
"But Licht may look externally to make a splashy new hire," the report suggested. "One name that continues to pop up is Brian Williams, who revived his career at MSNBC before exiting last year and is looking for one final act, according to two people familiar with his thinking. It would be quite the comeback for Williams who has always had his sights set on a nighttime talk show—and who better to orchestrate such a move than Licht, who reworked Stephen Colbert's show and took it to first place in the late-night ratings."
Wallace – a longtime staple of Fox News – abruptly left the network in December to obtain a new position with CNN. The 74-year-old ex-host of "Fox News Sunday" was originally hired to be an anchor for the news network's new subscription platform CNN+ – which will debut in 2022.
"I am 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,” Wallace said in a statement. “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."
Despite the encouraging words of his new home at CNN, there was a report that Wallace was "irate" over the sudden departure of Zucker and was "second-guessing his decision" to leave Fox News.
Even liberal shock jock Howard Stern questioned the career move by Wallace, "People don't want CNN, who the hell's gonna pay for CNN+? I mean are they outta their minds?"
Meanwhile, Brian Williams made his final "11th Hour" broadcast on MSNBC in December.
"After 28 years of peacock logos on much of what I own, it is my choice now to jump without a net into the great unknown. As I do, for the first time in my 62 years, my biggest worry is for my country," Williams signed off in his final monologue.
Williams joined MSNBC after he was booted from NBC's "Nightly News" for exaggerating his exploits.
Another possibility to replace Cuomo is CNN anchor Jake Tapper – who currently hosts his own show on the cable news network from 4 to 6 p.m.
In the prime time cable TV news ratings, CNN has routinely finished in third place behind MSNBC and top networj Fox News.
Last month, Forbes reported:
Now, a review of ratings data compiled by Nielsen shows the internal chaos at the network is mirrored by deep declines in viewership across all day parts — total day and prime time. Through February 15, CNN’s average prime time audience among viewers 25-54—the key demographic valued by advertisers—was just 126,000, representing a 69% drop from the same period one year ago. Among total viewers, the average audience was 534,000, a decline of 68% from 2021.