OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Chris Wallace left Fox News to join CNN+ because he couldn’t handle certain people like Tucker Carlson.
Tucker Carlson reportedly played a greater role in the departure of Chris Wallace from Fox News than previously thought.
During an interview with The New York Times early this month, the former “Fox News Sunday” host took a number of shots at his former employer.
Wallace didn’t cover politics but rather interviews cultural figures on CNN+, the new CNN streaming service.
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” he said of leaving Fox News. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
According to him, he spent “a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job.”
Wallace said he was “so alarmed by Mr. Carlson’s documentary ‘Patriot Purge’ — which falsely suggested the Jan. 6 Capitol riot was a ‘false flag’ operation intended to demonize conservatives — that he complained directly to Fox News management.”
“Before, I found it was an environment in which I could do my job and feel good about my involvement at Fox,” he continued before whining, “And since November of 2020, that just became unsustainable, increasingly unsustainable as time went on.”
The new streaming service looked to be a total failure according to Fox Business News’ Charles Gasparino.
“Breaking: @CNNplus employees bracing for layoffs possibly as soon as May amid projections of lackluster sales of new streaming channel; CNN employees say new streaming channel could be merged into larger @discoveryplus as early as May unless subscriptions pick up,” Gasparino posted in a tweet.
And Gasparino was spot on.
Trying to launch a CNN-based streaming service seemed like a great idea at the time, but it did not work out.
A few weeks after launching, CNN+ will cease operations due to a lack of subscriptions and viewership, Warner Bros. Discovery announced, which recently purchased CNN.
And just like that, Chris Wallace has been knocked off the air.
If you think you're having a bad day, imagine being Chris Wallace who left Fox to be the star of CNN+ and CNN+ immediately failed. 🤣🤣🤣
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) April 21, 2022
As reported in Thursday’s New York Times:
Warner Bros. Discovery has decided to shut down CNN+, the ballyhooed streaming service that had been intended to bring CNN into the digital future, just weeks after its splashy debut, according to two people familiar with its plans.
The service is set to cease operations on April 30. Andrew Morse, CNN’s chief digital officer and a key architect of the streaming strategy, will step down, another person said.
Chris Licht, the incoming president of CNN, called an all-hands meeting among CNN+ staffers for noon on Thursday to share the news.
This follows the launch of the streamer just a few weeks ago, “with ambitious plans to spend heavily and expand fast,” the Times added. At the time, former president Jeff Zucker was able to bring in some top talent, including former “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace and former NPR co-host Audie Cornish.
“But the service’s fortunes changed abruptly after CNN’s former parent, WarnerMedia — owner of the prestige TV powerhouse HBO and the storied Warner Bros. film studio — completed its merger with Discovery, home to reality TV hits like ’90 Day Fiancé’ and the home-improvement gurus Chip and Joanna Gaines,” the Times continued.
“Since the merger closed earlier this month, doubts have swirled over the future of CNN+, which was promoted to CNN employees and subscribers as the future of the network.”
Live look at Chris Wallace pic.twitter.com/LzMmsG33Vd
— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) April 21, 2022
Thursday’s announcement had been predicted by previous reports.
After its March 29 launch, Axios reported that the network has discontinued all external marketing campaigns. This is a sign that the streamer was on its last legs.
Fewer than 10,000 people are using CNN+ on a daily basis two weeks into its existence, sources tell CNBC, casting doubt on the future of the app following the combination of Discovery & WarnerMedia.https://t.co/20GmjuQafQ
— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) April 12, 2022
Additionally, the Daily Wire reported:
Despite insiders at CNN reportedly believing the launch went well, executives at Warner Bros. Discovery apparently disagree — and have responded by laying off CNN’s chief financial officer and terminating “all external marketing” for the streaming service while they determine the best course of action for its future.
According to the Axios report, there are several factors influencing the possible outcomes. First, despite projecting two million subscribers in the first year and profitability after four, CNN+ has only signed on about 150,000 so far — even with a discounted monthly price offering for those who sign up in the first five weeks. The streaming service’s average daily viewership, according to CNBC, is fewer than 10,000.
Has anyone checked in on Chris Wallace?
— Jack Posobiec ☦️ (@JackPosobiec) April 21, 2022
“CNN sought to make a huge splash with CNN+, luring big-name talent from rival news networks, such as Kasie Hunt from NBC News and Chris Wallace from Fox News,” reported CNBC. “But there is broad skepticism whether there’s enough demand to sustain a stand-alone news streaming service, with entertainment-first options dominating the landscape. Disney+, for instance, posted more than 10 million subscribers on its first day.”
“Discovery’s experience launching niche subscriptions services, like GolfTV and its Food Network Kitchen App, has informed its strategy to focus on one scaled general entertainment offering around HBO Max, instead of more niche services that have to compete with big apps for subscriber cash,” Axios explained.
The best part is Chris Wallace's utter humiliation. https://t.co/InUrUoyr90
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) April 19, 2022
“Discovery executives are focused mostly on returning CNN to its journalistic core, a point Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav reiterated in a town hall last week. That includes less of a focus on primetime perspective programming, and more of a focus on hard, breaking news. CNN+ features an array of soft news content, which doesn’t align with Discovery’s broader vision for CNN,” the report continued.
As for Wallace, there’s a saying, “go woke, go broke.” Well, Chris turned left, and now he’s bereft… of a job.