CNN anchor Chris Wallace poked fun at the painfully low viewership of his own network’s doomed streaming service during an appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Thursday.
Wallace got candid after pointing out that when he last appeared on the late-night comedy show in March, his show “Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace?” was still airing on CNN+. The costly streamer shut down just one month after its debut after failing to lure many paid subscribers.
“The last time I was on the show, it was March 27th,” Wallace said.
“I remember it well, CNN+ still existed back then,” Colbert replied.
Colbert’s joke drew a round of laughs and some lingering applause from one audience member. Wallace used the audible clapping as an opportunity to mock CNN+.
“Thank you. There was the one viewer of CNN+,” Wallace quipped in response, drawing more laughter.
Mediaite earlier reported on Wallace’s remarks.
Wallace was billed as a headliner on CNN+ when the $5.99 service debuted to great fanfare last March. He joined CNN after an 18-year stint at Fox News, where he helmed the conservative network’s Sunday morning news show.
The fledging network fizzled quickly and was nixed as part of a cost-cutting push under WarnerBros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav. The company laid off about 300 junior staffers as part of the decision, while others were reassigned to new roles.
The CNN anchor previously joked about the streaming service’s short lifespan during an October interview with celebrity chef Guy Fieri, when he joked that they needed to “be careful” on set.
“This is my one series. This is my one studio. This is my one set,” Wallace said at the time. “So we need to be very careful with it, because I almost lost it a few months ago.”
Wallace discussed CNN+’s downfall during an event hosted by the Common Ground Committee last April, stating that WarnerBros. Discovery executives had “come to the conclusion that having a narrow, niche product like a news streaming service doesn’t work.”
Despite CNN+’s collapse, Wallace’s interview continued to air on HBO Max. A separate, shorter version of “Who’s Talking To Chris Wallace” featuring the best moments from his recent interviews airs Sundays at 7 p.m. ET on CNN.
The CNN+ shutdown was one of the first moves in a sweeping overhaul at the network, whose President Chris Licht is pushing toward a focus on centrist, non-partisan coverage.
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