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Chris Wallace on conducting 'interviews' and 'conversations,' how he will cover the 2024 election

When Chris Wallace left Fox News to join CNN a year ago, he did so in search of new avenues. As a seasoned political anchor, Wallace would love the opportunity to interview interesting people outside of politics.

But meanwhile Wallace’s CNN+ show fell victim to the short shelf life of the streaming platform, only a few weeks later with

who Talking to Chris Wallace? And this time, it’s much broader. The series will air the full interview on Fridays on HBO Max and a weekly one-hour condensed episode on CNN’s Sunday nights.

Season 3 premieres today, CNN TV version moves to Friday night 1235061434 In the afternoon, HBO Max (soon to be Max) remains the streaming home for feature-length interviews. “The idea is to make it better on Friday mornings on Max, and then Friday night you can see and find the news, or what the controversial comments are, on CNN primetime,” Wallace said. And added that the difference in the number of days between the two does not really make sense considering consumers’ spending habits.

While Wallace is still talking to politicians (Sen. Bernie Sanders was one of his first guests), the list of guests has a wider range of voices.

Preliminary guest list looks very strong and diverse: Carol Burnett , Jay Leno, Miranda Lambert special. Can you explain how you determine who you want to talk to and how you balance the different guests?

I think it captures the culture of the whole show, it’s a conversation, not an interview, and it’s A thoughtful conversation. So, you know, I’m looking for people that I think can sustain my interest and the audience’s interest for half an hour, it’s not constant, but I would say that interviews tend to be between -25 and35 minute. So you know, it can’t just be that someone has a new album out — although that’s obviously one of the reasons they want to talk to you — but they have to have an interesting story, an interesting experience, an interesting point of view.

And, you know, I think if you look at the people we’ve interviewed or plan to interview this year, I call it the non-news side: like Carol Burnett or Jay Leno , Dr. Phil, Goldie Hawn, they all have stories to tell. They saw a lot and did a lot. That’s interesting to me — and I think our audience is interested too.

Some guests made news on the show. James Cameron admits for the first time that he will make more avatars MOVIE In an interview with you [after the movie was profitable in his opinion], Bryan Cranston ( Bryan Cranston’s comment on “MAGA” went viral. How much of it is driven by a desire to make news, rather than just having interesting conversations with interesting people?

I am a journalist. It’s in my DNA. I’ve been doing this for 50 years. Of course you always want someone to say something new and get noticed and make a splash but I have to say I mean when I came to CNN I started thinking about it and I don’t think it’s about making headlines — although I’m certainly not against it, you know, I’m happy when it happens — not a conversation.

I mean, I do make a point with the people I’m talking to, and before we start, I’ll talk on the sidelines, and I always I mean it’s not an interview. I’ll ask you questions, but this is a conversation. No one will mistake it for their living room. But if we get fully engaged at some point, I hope the guests and I will both forget where we are and we’ll have a real conversation, which I think has happened a few times already.

I interviewed, or spoke to, Carol Burnett this new season. I wanted to ask her about her happy life [and] she had a daughter Carrie who had a serious drug addiction and eventually died of cancer 1235335751. One of the ways I got into it was by sharing the fact that I had a brother who died when he died 20 years old in a climbing accident. Somehow I could ask her about it, I’ve been through it too and know how painful it is and the wounds will never heal. Again, I think, in this very artificial environment, it creates a greater possibility, and it does for Carol, to have a really authentic conversation.

I want to ask this question because many interviews impress me, this is a talk, this is One back and forth. It’s different from , and frankly like Fox News Sunday , This is more of a traditional TV interview format. When you first moved to CNN, did that appeal to you?

I’ve been talking to – Sunday talk show together minute interview. On a Sunday morning, there are three or four other Sunday shows, and you’re vying for the headlines and news, and sometimes you even have the same guest. So you’d rather make news in your interview than other people get it in theirs. After years, I’m kind of tired of this. First of all, the idea is to stay out of politics completely and try to make it an easier, more interesting conversation.

One thing I noticed is 10- or -minute interview, which is very popular on TV Long, but that’s the length of a

Fox News Sunday interview, and I spend a lot of time deciding where I’m not going Just ask because it still flies by. It’s 35 minutes or more, you can make it shorter. There was never a point where I said okay, I don’t want to get into that because I don’t have time. A lot of times – and that’s the hallmark of a conversation for me too – you listen, someone says something surprising, and suddenly you’re headed in a direction you never thought possible, and if it works, that’s great alright. If not, you take it out.

You know we’re getting started 1235335751 Presidential election cycle, and given the format of the new show, I’m curious what you think. How do you want to participate in that cycle while still staying true to your show?

I don’t want to watch the presidential election. So I think we evolve naturally. We will continue to do interviews with non-political figures, which will always be a hallmark of the show. We’ve done news interviews in the past. I mean, last season, I interviewed Nancy Pelosi, I interviewed [Michigan] Governor Whitmer. I think [I] might do more of a newsmaker, not just a political newsmaker, but a business newsmaker. I think there will be more of this happening. But we’ll stay true to what the show was about: conversations, longer, more thoughtful exchanges, and at least one interview with someone who’s not in politics on the show.

Do you miss the daily politics of the election cycle? Or are you happy to have that part of it behind you ?

Oh, sometimes I feel like I want to go back On track, of course. But as a general rule, I don’t miss daily coverage. And I think doing these interviews on a weekly basis will give me the opportunity to satisfy my curiosity and interest in politics, what’s going on in the news and what’s going on in that part of the world, while also being able to have these other conversations.

As we get more into the 50 races, I think I’m interested in stretching and Work those muscles that I’ve been working on for a long time and are more topical, but the ones you can’t book weeks in advance because you don’t know what fun stuff is going to happen that week. One of the things [that attracts those guests] is that you can offer them five minutes on the

Today show instead of five minutes or the minutes of the Sunday news program, we can discuss it in more depth, we can Discuss the policy and what your motivation is. I certainly don’t mind the headlines, but I don’t go for them the way you do on a Sunday talk show.

Interview has been edited for length and clarity. 1235335751



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