Sunday Schadenfreude: Chris Wallace ratings far worse than show he replaced as CNN braces for holiday season layoffs
Chris Wallace left Fox News in a huff and signed a contract with CNN to be the point man on the cable network’s streaming service, CNN+. That venture lasted only days before the new owners pulled the plug, leaving the network stuck with finding some use for its expensive (“more than $6 million a year”) new employee. They came up with a Sunday evening interview program, titled Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace.”
As Radar Online reports, the results are dismal:
…stats revealed that his show has…driven down the time slot for CNN over 20 percent in comparison to how Sunday nights were ranking before his start.
RadarOnline.com previously reported on the less than stellar debut of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace, which was only able to deliver 401,000 viewers in the 7 PM/ET hour.
The legendary broadcaster pulled in only 43,800 in the 25-54 age demo while Fox News garnered a massive 1.3 million viewers with Sunday Night In America With Trey Gowdy.
Reportedly, Wallace will be given a daytime interview show, where he can work his ratings magic just as he does on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the new boss at CNN, Chris Licht is planning holiday season layoffs, as CNN itself is reporting:
That’s the sort of news CNN staffers had delivered to their inboxes at 1pm ET on Wednesday when network boss Chris Licht candidly informed them that sweeping changes are imminent. In other words, brace for layoffs by the end of the year.
Licht, who has been conducting a business review of CNN for six months, said in a memo that he had identified areas where changes will be made. In addition, he noted that there is “widespread concern over the global economic outlook” and said that “we must factor that risk into our long-term planning.”
Apparently, he is not convinced by Biden’s claim that the economy is “strong as hell.”
“All this together will mean noticeable change to this organization,” Licht said in a memo. “That, by definition, is unsettling. These changes will not be easy because they will affect people, budgets, and projects.”
Licht’s memo came hours after CNBC’s Alex Sherman published a deep-dive examining the future of CNN. Sherman’s story, which Licht went on the record for, stated that job cuts will hit the news organization.
“Licht’s review is part of a larger effort spearheaded by [Warner Bros. Discovery chief executive David Zaslav], who has told division heads throughout the company to rethink their units and find ways to cut costs,” Sherman reported, adding that “more than 1,000 people will be laid off” this year by WBD, CNN’s parent company. In addition to the economic headwinds every company is facing, Zaslav has promised Wall Street he will find $3 billion in savings in the combined organization.
I am sure that all of those affected by the belt tightening, including those who no longer have jobs, wish Wallace well, with his half million dollars a month paychecks for shows that drive down ratings.
It’s not going to be very fun to work at CNN for a very long time.