Chris Wallace's Future Uncertain After Leaving FOX to Join Now Tanked CNN+

With the news that CNN+ will shut down coming less than a month after the streaming platform's launch, many on social media began to question what former longtime Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will do next.

Wallace, 74, who hosted Fox News Sunday from 2003 through 2021, announced on air that he would be leaving Fox News in December, with the news breaking shortly later that he would join CNN's news streaming platform, CNN+. Wallace then told The New York Times in March that staying at Fox News had become "unsustainable" after hosts and personalities there began to question the reality that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election.

On Thursday, CNN announced CNN+ will cease operations April 30 after only launching on March 29. Wallace's name quickly became a top trending topic on Twitter, as many questioned what the high-profile journalist would do next.

"CNN+ is already shutting down, does that mean Chris Wallace is unemployed?" author Nick Adams tweeted.

"Sooooo, I'm not doing New Years Eve on CNN+ with Chris Wallace?" comedian Kathy Griffin quipped in a tweet. Griffin was infamously fired by CNN from co-hosting the network's New Year's Eve coverage after she did a photo shoot in which she held up a fake severed head representing former President Donald Trump in 2017.

"Chris Wallace ditched his whole career for this," Caleb Hull, the former director of content for right-leaning communications agency Targeted Victory, wrote in a Twitter post.

"If you think you're having a bad day, imagine being Chris Wallace who left Fox to be the star of CNN+ and CNN+ immediately failed," comedian and radio host Tim Young wrote in a Twitter post.

"I'm sure Chris Wallace will have a lovely podcast," Noam Blum, co-host of the Ambitious Crossover Attempt podcast, tweeted.

Many others cynically wrote that Wallace needs a "wellness check." Several Trump supporters cheered the news, mocking CNN as well as Wallace.

The decision to shutter CNN+ came by new management, after CNN merged with Warner Bros. Discovery this month. Previously, the launch of the streaming service had been hyped as a significant development for CNN. However, reports of low subscriber growth surfaced in mid-April, drawing speculation about the future of CNN+.

"In a complex streaming market, consumers want simplicity and an all-in service which provides a better experience and more value than stand-alone offerings, and, for the company, a more sustainable business model to drive our future investments in great journalism and storytelling," Discovery's streaming boss JB Perrette said in a statement, CNN reported.

"We have very exciting opportunities ahead in the streaming space and CNN, one of the world's premier reputational assets, will play an important role there," Perrette said. Staffers of CNN+ were notified of the closure on Thursday and were reportedly told that they all would be paid and receive benefits for the next 90 days. Those who are not absorbed into other CNN jobs will receive six months of severance.

Wallace had already dropped 14 episodes since the launch of his show— titled Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?— and CNN+ at the end of March. The veteran journalist had interviewed a range of individuals, including filmmaker James Cameron, actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis, Valerie Biden Owens (the sister of President Joe Biden), former Disney CEO Bob Iger, astronaut Scott Kelly, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki.

"Eighteen years ago, the bosses here at Fox promised me they would never interfere with a guest I booked or a question I asked. And they kept that promise. I have been free to report to the best of my ability, to cover the stories I think are important, to hold our country's leaders to account," Wallace said during his December 12 Fox News Sunday program before his departure.

The journalist announced during that show he would leave Fox News, saying that he wanted to "try something new, to go beyond politics." Wallace added that he was "ready for a new adventure."

In March, he criticized what Fox News had become in the wake of Trump's 2020 loss to Biden.

"I'm fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion," Wallace told The New York Times. "But when people start to question the truth—Who won the 2020 election? Was January 6 an insurrection?—I found that unsustainable. I spent a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job."

Wallace was well-known on Fox News for pushing back against Republicans and Democrats alike, asking hard questions and pressing lawmakers and officials when they attempted to deflect or pivot. He drew Trump's ire on multiple occasions, with the former president attacking him in a June 2021 statement.

"Why does Fox News keep Chris Wallace? His ratings are terrible, he's 'almost' Radical Left...." the former president said at the time.

Trump also joined those panning the news of CNN+ shutting down on Thursday, describing Wallace as "low-rated," saying he "lacked the talent and whatever else is necessary to be a star."

Prior to joining Fox News, Wallace worked at ABC News from 1989-2003 and at NBC News from 1982-1988.

Newsweek reached out to CNN and Wallace for comment.

Chris Wallace with Anderson Cooper
Former Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace and Anderson Cooper attend the CNN+ Launch Event at PEAK NYC Hudson Yards on March 28 in New York City. Noam Galai/Getty Images CNN+

Update 4/21/22, 3:37 p.m. ET: This story was updated with additional information and background.