Former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace reportedly is “irate” over last week's shocking resignation of CNN boss Jeff Zucker, and Wallace also is said to be "second guessing his decision" to move to CNN+ from Fox News because of it, RadarOnline reported.
What's the background?
Wallace announced his immediate departure from his "Fox News Sunday" show in December, saying he's "honored and delighted to join Jeff Zucker and his great team. I can’t wait to get started."
CNN+ is the network's new subscription-based streaming platform. CNN noted that Wallace would anchor a weekday show featuring "interviews with newsmakers across politics, business, sports, and culture & will contribute to CNN+’s slate of live programming available at launch."
Media figures such as Howard Stern questioned Wallace's move, with the veteran shock jock asking, "People don't want CNN, who the hell's gonna pay for CNN+? I mean are they outta their minds?"
Amid Wallace's move to CNN, Zucker said, "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."
But with Zucker now gone following revelations of his relationship with Allison Gollust, his second in command at the network, Wallace has been “second guessing his decision” to move from Fox News to CNN+, RadarOnline reported.
“Chris is the type of person who makes it known if he doesn’t like something,” a TV industry insider said of Wallace, according to the outlet. “He went over there for Zucker and now Zucker is gone. Wallace feels that he has been stiffed. He’s got no staff, no executive producer, and the guy he gave up a prized gig for has just walked out the door.”
What's more, Zucker reportedly eased Wallace's concerns about Jake Tapper, CNN's host of "The Lead," and Sam Feist, the network's Washington bureau chief and senior vice president, RadarOnline added.
“It’s no secret in DC that Wallace hates Jake Tapper and despises Sam Feist,” the source added, according to the outlet. “Zucker spun his magic to allay Chris’ concern about the pair, promising that his status as a ‘premiere journalist’ would not be compromised while working out of the DC bureau."
How are folks reacting?
A number of folks have been sharing some pointed observations about Wallace in the wake of Zucker's resignation and the RadarOnline report:
- Media insider Jon Nicosia tweeted that there's "zero chance Chris Wallace stays at @CNNplus for long now that Zucker is gone. He's furious."
- Conservative commentator Jesse Kelly wondered, "Hold on. Did [Wallace] think moving from Fox News to CNN+ was a lateral move?"
What did CNN say?
A CNN spokesperson sent the following comment to TheBlaze: “There is zero truth to this report. It is completely fabricated with absolutely no merit. Chris and CNN are very much looking forward to the launch of CNN+ and Chris’s show, which is on track to debut in early spring.”
A report from Rolling Stone last week claimed Zucker and Gollust helped former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a left-wing Democrat, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic — much in the way Cuomo's brother, former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, did.
Andrew Cuomo resigned as governor in August over numerous accusations of sexual harassment and assault; he also was under fire before that, when a bombshell report in the New York Times said Cuomo's administration covered up a scandal regarding COVID-19 nursing home deaths even further than had been previously known.
And just a week before the Wallace-to-CNN+ announcement, CNN's infamously left-wing anchor Chris Cuomo was fired after an investigation showed how deeply involved he was in attempting to protect Andrew Cuomo from scandals. After his firing, Cuomo said Zucker had full knowledge of his attempts to help his brother Andrew — after which CNN said Chris Cuomo made "a number of accusations that are patently false. This reinforces why he was terminated for violating our standards and practices, as well as his lack of candor.”
This story has been updated with CNN's comment, and a reference to a Janice Dean tweet has been removed because it reportedly did not refer to Wallace.