Wallace made the surprising announcement at the end of “Fox News Sunday,” the channel’s flagship weekly show that he has moderated since 2003.
“After 18 years, this is my last ‘Fox News Sunday.’ It’s the last time, and I say it with real sadness, we’ll see each other like this, “Wallace said.
Wallace described his time on Fox News as a “great journey.” He said that after almost two decades he was “ready for a new adventure” and wanted “to try something new to go beyond politics to all the things that interest me.”
Shortly after his announcement on Fox, CNN announced that Wallace will be joining CNN +, the news organization’s streaming product that will launch in early 2022.
“I am delighted to join CNN +. After decades in broadcasting and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of broadcasting. I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility that broadcasting brings by interviewing leading figures in 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.”
Fox News said it will rotate hosts on “Fox News Sunday” until a permanent host is appointed.
Fox touted the renewal of Wallace’s “long-term contract” in September 2017. That contract expired this year and Wallace decided he did not want to renew it, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Wallace is known for his tough but fair challenges to both Democratic and Republican politicians. His reputation for questioning members of both parties made him highly respected in journalistic circles, but he often irritated the Fox News audience, which displayed immense loyalty to former President Donald Trump. That was especially true when Wallace called Trump directly, even when he said the former president “participated in the most direct and sustained assault on the free press in our history.”
In recent years, Fox News, which has always leaned to the right, has morphed into a hyperpartisan and right-wing conversational network that regularly pushes conspiracy theories on a wide variety of topics. Even many of the network’s so-called “direct news” anchors have abandoned any pretense of fairness.
Fox News chief host Tucker Carlson has received extraordinary criticism for producing an entertaining special on the false notion that the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol was a “false flag” orchestrated by the federal government. Carlson has also peddled anti-vaccine rhetoric and promoted the racist “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory on his show.
This is a story in development and will be updated.