NEW YORK – Chris Wallace will host a Sunday night interview show for CNN starting this fall, the network said Wednesday in announcing a new home for the best-known personality from the since-imploded CNN+ streaming service.
“Who's Talking to Chris Wallace,” which will also air on HBO Max, was the program he was doing for CNN+ before new corporate owners Warner Bros. Discovery shut the service down after only a month.
Wallace, formerly of Fox News Channel, has made some appearances on the television network, including on primary coverage Tuesday night.
Actor Eva Longoria, who had also signed up for the streaming service, will do a series for CNN where she travels in Mexico to sample the cuisine and culture. “Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico” is by the same production team that makes “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy” for the network.
Chris Licht, the new CNN Worldwide chairman, also told advertisers at a Manhattan presentation that CNN was “reimagining” its weekday morning show with the intent of being a “disruptor” in the space. He gave no details. Licht has some experience in that area, as the former top producer at both MSNBC's “Morning Joe” and CBS' morning news program.
He said nothing about the prime-time hole in CNN's lineup left by the firing of Chris Cuomo in December, after the network accused the anchor of not being forthcoming about how he was helping his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
In contrast to the “extremes” dominating cable television news, Licht said that at CNN, “we aspire to be a beacon for the kind of journalism that is essential to democracy.”
CNN has been telegraphing a renewed emphasis on news, with less commentary, since the forced departure of former chief Jeff Zucker this past winter and the corporate ownership change. The war in Ukraine has given CNN a chance to display its news chops, and war coverage has dominated the network's prime time.
Licht's point was driven home by his boss David Zaslav, Warner Bros. Discovery chairman, at the same presentation. He contrasted CNN with “advocacy” news networks.
“We at CNN intend to advocate for journalism first, to advocate for news and truth," Zaslav said.