Fox News anchor Chris Wallace returns as presidential debate moderator

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace moderates the 2016 presidential debate in Las Vegas.
(Getty Images)

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace will be a moderator of the first debate between President Trump and his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, on Sept. 29.

The Commission on Presidential Debates has named Wallace, who anchors the weekly Washington roundtable program “Fox News Sunday,” and three other journalists to handle the events that will be broadcast across the major networks and cable channels.

Wallace, 72, presided over the third debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016 and was widely praised for his handling of the event. He was the first Fox News anchor to ever moderate a presidential debate.

“His debate moderator performance is truly masterful and we are beyond excited to watch him brilliantly perform his craft once again,” said Fox News Media Chief Executive Suzanne Scott in a memo to staff regarding the announcement.


The 70-minute Republican convention speech was down significantly from 2016.

Aug. 28, 2020

The first of the 2020 debates will be held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Steve Scully, the political editor at C-SPAN and host of the cable channel’s morning show “Washington Journal,” will moderate the second meeting between the two candidates on Oct. 15, to be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

Scully, 59, will be on the presidential debate stage for the first time, although according to his Twitter account, he served as a backup moderator in 2016.

NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker will be the moderator for the third debate on Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville.

Welker, 44, has covered the White House for NBC since 2011. She is also co-anchor of the Saturday edition of “Today.”


Susan Page, 69, Washington bureau chief for USA Today, will handle the sole meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, on Oct. 7. The University of Utah in Salt Lake City will be the site.

While the debates provide major exposure to the journalists chosen as moderators and the organizations they represent, it also potentially subjects them to criticism by party activists who believe their candidates are treated unfairly.

Along with Wallace, the 2016 moderators were Lester Holt of NBC News, Anderson Cooper of CNN, Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Elaine Quijano, anchor for the CBS News streaming service CBSN.