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Chris Wallace: Cronkite ‘Would Not Be Happy’ With the State of the Evening Newscasts

chris wallace“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace does a Q+A with The Chicago Sun Times about his 50 years in broadcasting, the lessons he learned from his father Mike Wallace, and the general state of the news media:

Q: You are the only person who has had an anchoring role on two Sunday morning news shows. How do you see the role of the Sunday morning shows and how that’s evolved?

A: The reason it’s such a joy to be the anchor of a Sunday news show is that unlike in so much of the news business you have to almost apologize for being serious — for talking about policy. There’s a pressure to get off it as quickly as possible. The Sunday morning shows are the places were policy and serious subjects and in-depth interviews are desirable. That’s why people tune in to a Sunday talk show. You can talk in depth, you can talk seriously about issues. It’s more about light than heat, and you make no apologies for it. It’s sort of a self-selecting audience. It’s an audience that doesn’t want stunts, doesn’t want flash, they want a serious discussion of issues by serious people. It’s a joy to be presiding over that.

Q: How do you see the impact of celebrity culture on the news business?

A: I am amazed at how the weekday evening news have been influenced by that. I’ll say it, I believe in old-fashioned news gathering and the way you cover a story in depth. That’s why I love anchoring a Sunday show. People are tuning in to see the picture of the week, or what’s trending online or some Internet YouTube video. I’m frankly disheartened by some of the stuff I see creeping into newscasts. The weekday morning television shows have really been overrun by it, and I am kind of disheartened to see it creeping into the evening, weekday news. Walter Cronkite, my first boss, would not be happy to see what’s happening in the evening newscasts.

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