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Wallace quits ABC, expected to join Fox

October 27, 2003|Elizabeth Jensen | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Chris Wallace, an ABC News correspondent and occasional anchor, gave notice on Friday, amid speculation that he is heading to Fox News to anchor the public affairs program "Fox News Sunday" on the Fox broadcast network.

It would be a return to Sunday morning for Wallace, who anchored NBC's "Meet the Press" in the late 1980s, following a stint as that network's chief White House correspondent. Wallace, a Washington-based correspondent for the newsmagazine "Primetime," has been with ABC News since 1989, and has overseen a number of the program's hidden camera investigations. He is the son of CBS newsman Mike Wallace.

"Fox News Sunday" is currently anchored by Tony Snow, but the network said last week that he will soon step down to launch a new daily radio program for Fox. Although the Sunday program has shown strong year-to-year growth, it is still a distant fourth behind NBC, ABC and CBS, despite the Fox News Channel's dominance of the cable news world.

Because the shows tend to draw an upscale, educated audience that advertisers like, Sunday morning newsmaker programs have recently been the focus of much attention.

While "Meet the Press," anchored by Tim Russert, dominates, CBS' "Face the Nation" and ABC's overhauled "This Week," anchored by George Stephanopoulos, have been battling for second place. A syndicated journalists' discussion anchored by NBC's Chris Matthews has also been drawing viewers.

ABC News and Fox News declined to comment.

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