The Real Reason Chris Wallace Is Leaving Fox News

As many critics of Fox News have noted in recent years, the Rupert Murdoch-owned conservative news network has seemingly made some radical changes in its approach to reporting and commentary. The network has also garnered attention for its political allegiances — or, more pointedly, its allegiance to Donald Trump.

Though Fox is hardly the first outlet to have faced accusations of bias, the network, along with more ultra-conservative channels like Newsmax, have been lambasted for "soft-pedaling" their coverage of the events of the right-wing January 6 insurrection at Capitol Hill, along with subsequent proceedings related to it, per CNN. Fox also came under fire for airing programming like host Tucker Carlson's miniseries special "Patriot Purge" about January 6, which seemingly attempted to cast, albeit unsubstantially, one of the most well-documented attacks in history as a "false flag" operation organized by Antifa and other left-wing cells.

Though Carlson and his more outspokenly conservative cohort have largely characterized the presence of Fox News on the media map, the network has still managed to retain at least a few more centrist voices on staff, among them journalist Chris Wallace. Now, however, it looks like Wallace himself is leaving Fox News for other pastures. So, what's going on here?

Chris Wallace is 'ready for a new adventure'

As Chris Wallace himself announced during his "Fox News Sunday" show on December 12, his most recent episode for the weekly news program would be his last. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Wallace stated his decision to leave Fox News came from a desire to try out something new, and "to go beyond politics to all the things I'm interested in." He then added, "I'm ready for a new adventure." 

Mere hours after saying goodbye to Fox News, Wallace released an official statement naming his new employer, CNN+. "After decades in broadcast and cable news, I am excited to explore the world of streaming," wrote Wallace (via THR). "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."

His departure isn't exactly surprising — especially considering a recent conservative backlash against him. Wallace, who has been with the network since 2003 and has hosted the program "Fox News Sunday" for nearly two decades, came under fire from Trump himself after a no-holds-barred July 2020 interview with the ex-president. Wallace also received similar criticisms from Trump, who accused the host of being "controlled by the radical left," after it was announced Wallace would moderate one of three presidential debates in September 2020.

Chris Wallace's departure follows Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg's abrupt exit

As you may recall, Journalist Chris Wallace's highly publicized departure from Fox News comes off the heels of conservative commentators Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg's abrupt resignation from the same news channel less than one month prior in a blog post aptly titled, "Why We Are Leaving Fox News."

"Fox News still does real reporting, and there are still responsible conservatives providing valuable opinion and analysis. But the voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible," the duo famously announced on their blog, The Dispatch. Enter: Tucker Carlson's three-part series, "Patriot Purge." "If a person with such a platform shares such misinformation loud enough and long enough, there are Americans who will believe—and act upon—it. This isn't theoretical. This is what actually happened on January 6, 2021," they continued.

Later, when asked about his former colleagues' resignation, Carlson told New York Times columnist Ben Smith that it was "great news" and that Fox's viewers would be "grateful."

Chris Wallace sang Fox's praises

Unlike Stephen Hayes and Jonah Goldberg's dramatic exodus from Fox News, however, Chris Wallace's departure doesn't appear to harbor any bad blood or ill will. "After 18 years — this is my final 'Fox News Sunday,'" Wallace announced on-air at the end of his broadcast. "It is the last time — and I say this with real sadness — we will meet like this." 

During the bombshell announcement, Wallace commended the news channel for allowing him to work freely. "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," he said. "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."

Fox News echoed Wallace's sentiments with a statement that read, "We are extremely proud of our journalism and the stellar team that Chris Wallace was a part of for 18 years. The legacy of 'Fox News Sunday' will continue with our star journalists, many of whom will rotate in the position until a permanent host is named."