Chris Wallace surprised the media business over the weekend when he announced on-air that he would be leaving Fox News Sunday and Fox News Channel at the end of the broadcast after 18 years. Less than two hours later, CNN said that Wallace would be joining its network as an anchor for the upcoming CNN+ streaming service.
In its statement on Wallace’s exit from the network, Fox News said, “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.”
We are hearing that the network’s news-side anchors who will rotate in the Fox News Sunday moderator role include Bret Baier, John Roberts, Harris Faulkner, Shannon Bream, Martha MacCallum, Neil Cavuto, Bill Hemmer, Jennifer Griffin and Dana Perino.
If Fox News’ track record on selecting a host for its weekday 7 p.m. hour is any indication—after 11 months, the network still hasn’t picked a permanent host—they likely won’t name Wallace’s successor anytime soon. Maybe not even until 2023.
If Fox for some reason decides not to go with Baier, Roberts, or any of the other in-house anchors or correspondents, one external figure that could make sense for the Fox News Sunday moderator role is ABC News chief Washington correspondent and This Week co-anchor Jonathan Karl.
Hear me out: Yes, Fox might have to back up the Brinks truck to pry Karl from ABC, but if the network reached out to the veteran journalist with solid credentials, I don’t see why he wouldn’t at least listen. It doesn’t appear as though George Stephanopoulos is going to vacate the permanent This Week moderator role anytime soon (unless there’s something happening we’re not privy too)—and this wouldn’t be the first time a top ABC News Washington correspondent jumped to another network and ended up moderating its Sunday show. At the end of 2012, when it became clear that Jake Tapper was not going to become the next permanent moderator of This Week, he made the decision to leave ABC News for CNN, where he currently moderates the network’s Sunday show State of the Union, and hosts CNN weekdays from 4-6 p.m. ET.
Karl could potentially fill the role being vacated by Wallace, both as Fox’s Sunday show moderator and offering daily political analysis across the Fox News weekday news programming.
A stretch? Perhaps. But stranger things have happened.