Interview: Jay Wallace

When hijackers' planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11, Jay Wallace was New York bureau chief of Fox News Channel.

When hijackers' planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11, Jay Wallace was New York bureau chief of Fox News Channel.

Since then, he has risen through the ranks to become executive producer of Fox News. Wallace spoke to PRWeek about life in the 24-hour news cycle.

PRWeek: What are the responsibilities in your new post at Fox?

Jay Wallace: I oversee the news part of it. I am the executive producer of news shows from 9am to 5pm. The gig I had before this was executive producer of Shepard Smith's show... Jane Skinner [contributor to Smith's show] now has her own hour.

PRWeek: Did that change happen under your new leadership?

Wallace: It is sort of something that was in the works [on] our programming side... Jane had fared well and blossomed, and we decided to get [Skinner] her own hour.

PRWeek: How do you prefer someone in PR to pitch you?

Wallace: Usually e-mail is the easiest way. My quiet time is on the subway and also at night - that is when I am able to look through e-mail and read stuff. Otherwise, I'm often trying to watch the channel and watch the competition. My BlackBerry becomes my office away from my desk.

PRWeek: Any tips for PR pros trying to reach you? Any pet peeves that make you just hit "delete"?

Wallace: It's tough leaving messages a lot, and sometimes voice- mails get lost in the shuffle. Form letters make my eyes gloss over, but when I see some working knowledge of the show - when I see someone who knows what we are doing - that is different.

With a form e-mail, I know I'll see it again. I like to see working knowledge [that] we are a 24-hour news channel, the type of guests we've had on. That helps me weed through the pitches.

PRWeek: Because of the September 24 interview with Bill Clinton [on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace] - we're reading so many stories about how a former President acted so differently when he was being interviewed by Fox News. Can you speak about that?

Wallace: I was off [that] weekend, but I heard the buzz. It's been everywhere... Chris Wallace is someone who is never believed to be left or right. The most surprised were media people.

Chris has given numerous interviews, but this has received more hits on the Internet than anything because of the unique reaction from [former] President Clinton to [him].

PRWeek: What are your goals in your first year of leadership?

Wallace: We [just] added a new show, Live Desk with Martha MacCallum. We are now 10 years into existence. The obvious goal is to stay on top of stuff: stay on top of the news cycle and technology. Now, with cable channels changing, staying ahead of that 24-hour news and getting guests immediately is always a challenge.

Outlet: Fox News Channel

Title: Executive producer, news

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