There’s an old idiom, “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.” It cautions against making an envious and perhaps mistaken comparison between a current situation and a potential new opportunity.
Veteran news anchor Chris Wallace must have forgotten that nugget of wisdom. In December 2021, Wallace left his secure position at top-rated Fox News and joined the failing “competitor” CNN.
Now, rumors suggest Wallace is unhappy and insecure in his new gig.
Journalist Jon Nicosia, a former managing editor of Mediaite and current president of News Cycle Media, shared the story on Twitter.
SOURCE: Chris Wallace is “having daily breakdowns” over the “miserable launch” of @CNNplus. Wants a “CNN show or is threatening to walk” they go on. “He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing”
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) April 12, 2022
“SOURCE: Chris Wallace is ‘having daily breakdowns’ over the ‘miserable launch’ of CNN+. Wants a ‘CNN show or is threatening to walk’ they go on,” Nicosia wrote. “‘He is having staffers count how many times a day his promo is playing.’”
The irony is the new CNN+ service just had a titanic failure of a launch in March. There are already discussions of company layoffs happening as soon as May.
It seems not many customers want to pay for the type of programming they were not even watching when there was no extra cost for it.
The supposedly seasoned news veteran Wallace, 74, staked what remains of his career on this shaky proposition.
It was assumed Wallace would have his own show on the streaming service. It’s also assumed CNN paid him generously to switch. Wallace had been with Fox 18 years, and the Los Angeles Times estimated his annual salary there to be at least $5 million.
Wallace wasn’t gracious about leaving Fox either.
He sneered at the integrity of the network and its viewers, saying about his long tenure on Fox: “But I can certainly understand where somebody would say, ‘Gee, you were a slow learner, Chris.'”
Now Wallace is left griping about his diminished options as the CNN brand is in freefall.
Having his staff make a daily, strange ritual of monitoring and recording the number of times his promotional clips are played suggests Wallace is paranoid about his stature at CNN, even as the network has struggled with multiple scandals.
CNN president Jeff Zucker resigned in February after allegations of inappropriate conduct. In December 2021, anchor Chris Cuomo was fired and two producers left the company after being accused of sex crimes involving children.
Fox News does not miss Chris Wallace.
In fact, Maria Bartiromo, a Fox News and Fox Business Network host, has twice called out the former anchor for running interference for Joe Biden in this infamous exchange from the first presidential campaign debate on Sept. 29, 2020. Wallace was the debate moderator:
When the Hunter Biden laptop surfaced in a bombshell New York Post report two weeks later, it would almost certainly have been taken with more credibility if Wallace had not interfered like that. Maybe Twitter and Facebook, not to mention the mainstream news media, would not have felt as safe squelching the story if it had been treated more seriously on a national stage by a well-known newsman.
Despite being on Fox, Chris Wallace was never a conservative, or even an objective journalist. He was always a part of the establishment media, concerned with advancing the establishment’s narrative, not delivering the news.
At least with him on the sinking ship of CNN, a lot fewer people will be exposed to Wallace’s brand of bias.
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