Television news host Chris Wallace drew headlines late last year when he left his job at Fox News for a position at CNN. However, one thing that his new show hasn’t managed to draw is ratings.
According to the New York Post, Sunday night’s premier of “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace” bombed, attracting less than 44,000 viewers in the much-coveted 25 to 54 demographic.
Wallace’s show is far less popular than its competitor on Fox News
The paper cited data from Nielsen as showing that the number of those between the ages of 25 and 54 was 64% below average for programming in the 7 p.m. Eastern time block.
What’s more, the program only managed to attract 401,000 viewers, 29% less than is typically the case for programs in that hour.
CNN offered a defense of Wallace by telling the Post that his show streams on HBO Max three days before it airs on television.
The network stressed in a statement that the program “doesn’t follow a typical linear distribution model so its success won’t be determined like one,” adding, “Live domestic TV viewers represent only a fraction of its intended audience.”
The statement also pointed out that “Who’s Talking?’ is also simulcast on CNN International, reaching an additional 350 million households around the world.”
Nevertheless, the Post noted that Wallace’s numbers were far below those of Fox News host and former South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy whose program “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy.”
Gowdy, whose show also airs at 7 p.m. Eastern, attracted 1.3 million viewers. Of that total, 78,000 were in the 25 to 54 demographic.
Wallace says life at Fox News had become “unsustainable”
Wallace has been highly critical of his former employer since going over to CNN, telling The New York Times in an interview this past March that life at Fox News had become “unsustainable.”
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” Wallace said. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 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 went on to state that he was interested in moving away from politics, saying, “One of the reasons that I left Fox was because I wanted to put all of that behind me.”