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Following months of hype, CNN is rolling out its new streaming service with the official launch of CNN+ which will become available on April 28 but something very noticeable is missing from the promo, prized hire Chris Wallace who isn’t among the network personalities featured in the video.
The news that the longtime Fox News anchor was lured away from his former employer sent shockwaves through the industry as the top figure at the network bolted for rival CNN after 18 years during which he was one of the most well-known faces despite drawing criticism from the staunchly conservative viewer base, particularly over his rude treatment of former President Donald J. Trump.
It didn’t take long after Wallace announced his departure on the air during the December 12, 2021 edition of “Fox News Sunday,” a show where he was a fixture, before CNN took to Twitter to pat themselves on the back for what at the time, was viewed as a major media coup.
We’re thrilled to welcome Chris Wallace to CNN as an anchor for @CNNPlus. His new weekday show will feature interviews with newsmakers across politics, business, sports and culture & will contribute to CNN+’s slate of live programming available at launch. https://t.co/6dgFzBd2QT pic.twitter.com/h8djkxClsB
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) December 12, 2021
The press release announcing CNN’s big score even featured a statement from the son of legendary “60 Minutes” investigative journalist Mike Wallace, “I am thrilled to join CNN+. After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming,” he said.
But alas, there was trouble brewing in paradise as the ugly scandal that took down CNN prime time host Chris Cuomo would also claim the job of president Jeff Zucker who stepped down in February over his failure to disclose a consensual relationship with colleague Allison Gollust which was uncovered during the investigation into the disgraced ex-governor of New York’s little brother.
Following the departure of the man who in nine years at the network’s helm completely trashed the brand, rumors swirled that Wallace may have a serious case of buyer’s remorse and according to one report, may be second guessing his decision after the departure of Zucker who had his back.
Some may find confirmation in he idea that the former Fox News star might be unhappy by his being missing in action in the social media promotions posted by CNN+ this week in which Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, new hire Rex Chapman among others count down the days until the self-proclaimed “most trusted name in news” goes live with its new streaming venture
Have you heard? #CNNPlus launches in 5 days. What are you going to stream first? Sign up for updates 👉 https://t.co/lyqxGZXyQe pic.twitter.com/jjrYTM2Sm8
— CNN+ (@CNNplus) March 24, 2022
In addition to the conspicuous absence of Wallace, the network misleadingly states that it is “leading the way” in streaming news, a factually-challenged claim that completely ignores the fact that CNN+ is a latecomer to the streaming news game, debuting more than three years after the launch of FOX Nation.
Also missing from the CNN+ promo is star anchor Jake Tapper, a man who Wallace intensely dislikes and without Zucker around, there is no buffer between the men, a potential problem if a report from Radar Online is to be believed.
Last month, the outlet quoted an unnamed TV industry insider who said, “Chris is the type of person who makes it known if he doesn’t like something,”
“He went over there for Zucker and now Zucker is gone. Wallace feels that he has been stiffed. He’s got no staff, no Executive Producer and the guy he gave up a prized gig for has just walked out the door,” the exec added.
Chris Wallace ‘irate’ over Jeff Zucker ouster, ‘second guessing his decision’ to defect to CNN: report https://t.co/EsmYGWFfCw
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 6, 2022
The report also shines a light on Wallace’s relationship with Jake Tapper who he reportedly hates along with Washington bureau chief and senior vice president Sam Feist.
“It’s no secret in DC that Wallace hates Jake Tapper and despises Sam Feist,” the source added. “Zucker spun his magic to allay Chris’ concern about the pair, promising that his status as a ‘premiere journalist’ would not be compromised while working out of the DC bureau,” the outlet reported.
The service will be priced at $5.99 per month or $59.99 per year with a very special bonus offer, “Early subscribers that sign up within the first four weeks directly will have access to the “Deal of a Lifetime,” or 50% off the monthly plan – for life – as long as they remain subscribers,” according to a CNN press announcement.
But will Chris Wallace be a part of the package?
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