Chris Wallace out at Fox News; Dana Perino stunned by his exit

Among the first big changes to come after the dust settles on the 2018 midterm elections, with Fox News Channel hosting its annual all-day election night live coverage, was the departure of popular Sunday anchor Chris Wallace from his post. Two sources told The New York Times that the channel felt Wallace was being pushed too far out on his own when discussing the stories of the day, and he left. And he announced his departure at the same time as fellow FNC host Jeanine Pirro made a surprise announcement: she would not return to the network, citing the harassment she had experienced by her Fox co-host, Megyn Kelly.

While Fox News is clearly down in viewers, the channel is not universally down. And Wallace seems eager to begin working again, according to a statement he made this afternoon. “Fox News and I have mutually agreed that I will not be returning to the network next year,” Wallace said. “I have enjoyed my time at Fox News immensely and will always be grateful to Roger Ailes, and everyone at the channel for making my career possibilities limitless.”

But one of Wallace’s highly-regarded colleagues, Dana Perino, seemed stunned by the news.

While we would never make any accusations of harassment against Fox News, I don’t know that Fox News was sending a message to its employees either. They are going to be scrutinized in the wake of the #MeToo movement. There will be lots of questions about their corporate culture and their hiring practices. — Dana Perino (@DanaPerino) December 1, 2018

Wallace joins several others from FNC who have left the network in recent months — Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Jesse Watters, and most recently, Sean Hannity’s on-air partner Jeanine Pirro, who made a surprise departure this week when she revealed she would not be returning to FNC next year.

Watters, meanwhile, tweeted on Friday that he would indeed be returning to FNC in a month.

While Fox has revamped its lineup in recent months, it’s not yet clear what the current situation is with Kelly, or with the upcoming Hannity-Jon Stewart late-night show. Sources told the Times that for now, the pair were still officially working together.

Still, the uncertainty is likely discouraging those who were attracted to Fox News — which has been designed as more of a conservative news cable network than its competitors — in the first place, when its bias and fear of a changing media environment were emphasized.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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