From Fox News to CNN: Why Chris Wallace made his move



TV PIPELINE

Chris Wallace

Q: Why did Chris Wallace leave Fox News Channel after so long? – Kathy Miles, Buffalo, N.Y.

A: If one takes what he had to say about it at face value, the veteran newsman (and son of fellow television-news veteran Mike Wallace) was presented with a new challenge elsewhere and decided to accept it. He’ll be joining CNN+ when that streaming-service corollary of the cable network launches later in 2022, and he’ll reportedly do a weekday program that will let him address subjects beyond politics.

It also must be noted, though, that Wallace spent a lot of time delineating for critics between what he does and what Fox News Channel’s weeknight opinion-show hosts do. It’s possible that he might have decided the time to keep doing that was over, and Wallace’s new program is being designed around his hard-news approach. At least for now, “Fox News Sunday” is being handled by a rotating set of anchors in the immediate aftermath of Wallace’s departure from that news operation.


Q: I often hear Sunny Hostin reference her legal background on “The View.” Exactly what sort of an attorney is she? – Susan Levy, Clovis, Calif.

A: With a Doctor of Law degree from Notre Dame Law School, she first went to work as a law clerk for a retired chief judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, then joined the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice as a trial attorney. Following that, Hostin became a federal prosecutor specializing in child sex crimes … and while she’s typically passionate (along with the show’s other hosts) about the subjects she addresses on the weekday ABC program, that’s likely why that subject elicits such particularly strong responses from her.

Hostin also has delved into other areas of the law professionally, as with her time at risk-consultant firm Kroll, where she served as a managing director of business intelligence and investigations. In that role, she oversaw investigators who looked into cases of fraud around the globe.

Sunny Hostin

Q: Why was “A Christmas Story” on earlier than Christmas this past holiday season? – Ken Reese, via email

A: That’ll happen sometimes. Though TBS and TNT are known for their annual 24-hour marathon of the 1983 movie on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, they occasionally like to whet appetites for that by sending the film out earlier, too … as happened in December. Sometimes, sister network Turner Classic Movies will get in on the act by running the picture as well.

Of course, there’s nothing new about a holiday attraction getting multiple showings at the most relevant time of year. NBC typically presents “It’s a Wonderful Life” a couple of times each December – encompassing its traditional telecast on Christmas Eve – and “White Christmas” is known to get multiple workouts on AMC. The notion also extends to popular holiday specials, since not only did “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Frosty the Snowman” get dual airings on CBS, they also were presented on Freeform several times afterward.


Q: Is it true that Dr. Oz is being replaced on TV by his daughter? – Sandra Lang, via email

A: It is, at least in a manner of speaking. With Dr. Mehmet Oz running for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania, not only will his time be very divided, but stations in relevant localities that carry his show would have been subjected to a political equal-time provision … and an hour per day, five days a week adds up to a lot of unpaid equal time.

Starting Jan. 17, the time period will stay in the family (at least on stations that opt to carry the new show) as Daphne Oz turns her “Dr. Oz” segment “The Good Dish” into a full weekday program, with fellow food experts Gail Simmons (“Top Chef”) and Jamika Pessoa (“Next Food Star”) joining her as fellow hosts. Whether Daphne’s dad will be a guest on her show, as she often has been on his, is a big question mark initially – again, given that equal-time matter while he’s a political candidate – but there still will be an Oz on the home screen regularly.


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Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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