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Chris Wallace’s CNN+ show gets a second chance: Ex-Fox News host’s program ‘will head to HBO Max’ after $300million streaming service failed in just three weeks
- Chris Wallace will get a second chance for his interview show on HBO Max
- Newsman defected from Fox News to join the streaming service CNN+
- But CNN+ was killed off just weeks after launch by new ownership
- After Discovery merger, streaming strategy will focus on boosting HBO Max
Wallace’s show Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace will move to the HBO streaming service, where new owners Warner Bros. Discovery are focusing their cord-cutting investments, according to Puck.
Last month, the fledgling CNN+ service was pulled off the air just three weeks after launch, and after $300 million had been invested in its launch.
Wallace, who reportedly makes $9 million per year, had defected from Fox News specifically to join the doomed streaming news service, and his fate at the newly formed Warner Bros. Discovery had been up in the air.
Chris Wallace will get a second chance for his interview show after CNN+ was pulled off the air, with the series reportedly moving to HBO Max
Last month, the fledgling CNN+ service was pulled off the air just three weeks after launch, and after $300 million had been invested in its launch
Meanwhile, the fate of other talent recruited for CNN+ remains up in the air, including food-media star Roman, former NPR host Audie Cornish, ex-NBC News host Kasie Hunt, and sports commentators Jemele Hill and Rex Chapman.
Monday marked the first official workday for new CNN boss Chris Licht, who suggested he will move the network away from opinion-led shows that have dominated over the last few years.
Licht said in a memo on his first day that he wants the focus to be on ‘straightforward facts’ and ‘insightful commentary’.
The former CBS executive pinged a memo to staff also warning ‘too many people have lost trust in the news media’.
Insiders said they expect him to inject his own style into CNN and will not run it as a ‘cult like Jeff Zucker’.
Licht’s memo said: ‘I think we can be a beacon in regaining that trust by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics of journalism: fearlessly speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo, questioning ‘group-think’ and educating viewers and readers with straightforward facts and insightful commentary, while always being respectful of differing viewpoints.’
Monday marked the first official workday for new CNN boss Chris Licht, who suggested he will move the network away from opinion-led shows
‘I think we can be a beacon in regaining that trust by being an organization that exemplifies the best characteristics of journalism: fearlessly speaking truth to power, challenging the status quo, questioning ‘group-think’ and educating viewers and readers with straightforward facts and insightful commentary, while always being respectful of differing viewpoints,’ Licht said in a memo sent out to CNN staff on his first day in the new job
The 50-year-old continued: ‘First and foremost, we should, and we will be advocates for the truth.’
An insider on Monday told DailyMail.com Licht’s influence will be steering the network into the right direction but that there’s still a lot of changes to be done.
‘This is a new day for CNN. Chris will be able to make the important changes that will set our news organization up for success.’
They continued: ‘He’s a good guy and won’t run the organization as a cult of personality like Jeff did.’
The source added improved ratings will follow if the new boss returns the channel to ‘its roots in news gathering.’
She added: ‘The one thing he needs to do quickly is remove Jeffrey Toobin from the air.
‘As everyone saw on Saturday night at the Correspondents’ dinner, his continued employment makes us look like a joke. He needs to go ASAP.’
Jeff Zucker resigned in February after nine years at the top of CNN when he was caught hiding his relationship with former CNN communications and marketing boss Allison Gollust. CNN, HBO, Warner Bros, TNT and other channels and networks belong to WarnerMedia
Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo (right) was fired in December during Zucker’s tenure, with the latter facing the heat from staff who were worried about the network’s future. Cuomo left his role after it was revealed that he was helping his brother Andrew Cuomo, former Governor of New York, a lot more than what people had previously thought with allegations of sexual assault
Licht last week addressed the collapse of CNN+, telling staffers that it was ‘a uniquely s***** situation.’
He explained that consumers wanted ‘simplicity and an all-in service’ rather than stand-alone offerings, endorsing the new ownership’s focus on HBO Max as the company’s tentpole streaming service.
The move came after the channel’s parent company, WarnerMedia, merged with Discovery to establish Warner Bros. Discovery in a $43 billion deal.
The acquisition was spearheaded by David Zaslav, who personally chose Licht for the highest role at CNN.
The launch of CNN+ also came after some turbulence from within the network that led to Zucker’s resignation in February after it was revealed that he was involved in a personal relationship with CNN marketing and communication head Allison Gollust, who also resigned as a result of the discovery.
The relationship was disclosed right after former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo resigned from his weeknight news analysis show on the network, following evidence that he had deceived his bosses about the amount help he was giving to his older brother and former Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo in his bid to shrug off allegations of sexual harassment by several women.
Two months went on before WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar’s exit in April, who many claim did not see eye-to-eye with Zaslav due to his handling of Zucker’s dismissal.