Chris Wallace announced on Sunday that he is leaving Fox News after 18 years to join CNN's streaming service, CNN+, set to launch in 2022.
Wallace, 74, host of "Fox News Sunday" and Fox's most well-known moderate news voice, will host a CNN+ weekday show featuring interviews with newsmakers "across politics, business, sports and culture," according to CNN.
"I am thrilled to join CNN+," he said in a statement. "After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming. I look forward to the new freedom and flexibility streaming affords in interviewing major figures across the news landscape — and finding new ways to tell stories."
Fox often pointed to Wallace, known for tough interviews with both Democrats and Republicans, when defending against criticisms of the network's increasingly right-wing slant. Wallace was the first Fox News journalist to moderate a presidential debate (in 2016, and again in 2020), and the first to be nominated for an Emmy.
Donald Trump, as well as his Fox-watching supporters, were irritated by Wallace's criticisms of Trump over the years.
Trump "expects complete loyalty from Fox News. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace is the rare personality on the network that refuses to give it to him," wrote Vox, just prior to the 2020 presidential debate.
In an interview with Trump in July 2020, Wallace deflated Trump's bragging about having passed a cognitive test that Wallace described as "not the hardest" ('It shows a picture and it says, ‘what’s that,’ and it’s an elephant,” he added), and elicited Trump's infamous comment "It is what it is" in response to Wallace's pointing out that more than 1,000 people were dying of COVID each day.
Wallace had reportedly expressed concerns to Fox News management about "Patriot Purge," a recent special by Fox News' Tucker Carlson that has been widely criticized for its false claim that the Jan. 6 insurrection was a "false flag" operation meant to discredit right-wing groups.
Conservative journalists Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg quit Fox News last month in protest of Tucker's program. Shepard Smith left Fox News in 2020, after 23 years, for CNBC. Juan Williams, the sole left-wing representative on Fox's "The Five" for seven years, left in May 2021, followed by Democratic analyst Donna Brazile, who left after a short stint with the network, to go to ABC.