OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has not had much success in terms of attracting an audience after he left the network and moved to CNN in the wake of the 2020 elections, but executives there continue to give him opportunities.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the network is about to give Wallace more opportunities as he is moving from his Sunday slot to a new one during prime time on Fridays. Wallace is also reportedly slated to play a role in CNN’s coverage of the 2024 presidential election.
“While Wallace’s CNN+ show fell victim to the streaming platform’s short shelf life, it was rejuvenated and revamped just a few weeks later in the form of Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? And this time, it would be much more widely available. The series would stream full interviews on HBO Max on Fridays, and a condensed one-hour version weekly on CNN Sunday nights,” the outlet noted.
“For the third season, debuting today, the CNN TV version will shift to Friday nights at 10 p.m., with HBO Max (soon to be Max) remaining the streaming home for the long-form interviews,” the outlet added.
“The thought was it just lines up better to have it dropping Friday mornings on Max, and then on Friday evenings you can see and find the news, or what the controversial comment was, on CNN primetime,” Wallace said.
“We’re thrilled that the CNN audience will now get to see these newsmaking interviews the same day that they are available on HBO Max,” a spokesperson for the show said on Wallace.
The outlet claimed that Wallace’s show “performed well on Sundays,” but that’s relative; the network, overall, has tanked in ratings and is a distant third behind cable news powerhouse Fox News.
And his show scored its lowest during the month of January in terms of overall viewers, with the final week of the month being the worst since the program launched in the spring of 2022.
For the entire month of January, “Wallace’s show averaged only 365,000 viewers. Even worse, in advertisers’ coveted 25-54 demographic, his struggling program pulled in a putrid average of just 48,000 viewers,” the Western Journal reported.
Wallace’s show was initially scheduled for CNN+, the network’s planned subscription streaming service that flopped about a month after it was launched at the cost of some $300 million.
The Washington Examiner noted as well that on one Sunday, Wallace’s program only managed to pull in around 323,000 viewers and 38,000 in the 25-54 demo.
The Western Journal added at the time:
Wallace can’t win for losing these days, it seems. It’s not that people aren’t tuning into Sunday news programs, either. Take a gander at former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Sunday Fox News show for proof. “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy” managed to garner over 1 million viewers on average in January, according to US TVDB. Gowdy also roughly doubled the number of 25-54 demographic viewers that Wallace pulled in.
CNN continued to struggle mightily, with few of its shows really gaining much traction, including the recently revamped morning show.
“CNN just notched its lowest ratings in nine years across all its day parts for the week of Jan. 16 through Jan. 22, 2023, according to Nielsen, averaging just 444,000 viewers in primetime, 93,000 in the all-important age 25-54 news demographic and 417,000 in viewers and 80,000 in the demo for total day,” The Wrap reported that month. “It’s the first time since May 2014 that the network failed to reach 450,000 viewers.”
“By comparison, during the same period Fox News drew 1.4 million viewers and 176,000 in the demo while MSNBC notched 629,000 total viewers and 69,000 in the demo. In primetime, Fox News had 2 million viewers, 256,000 in the demo and MSNBC had 943,000 viewers and 91,000 in the demo,” the report continued, adding that the new morning show featuring co-stars Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlin Collins is also tanking.