CNN fired presenter Chris Cuomo on Saturday after details emerged of how he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the politician faced allegations of sexual harassment earlier this year.
The network suspended Chris Cuomo earlier in the week to investigate his conduct, after the New York attorney general released details showing he was more involved than previously thought in helping strategize and contacting other journalists as her brother fought to keep his job.
CNN hired a law firm for the review. The company has recommended the dismissal of Chris Cuomo and CNN chief Jeff Zucker informed the presenter of the decision on Saturday.
The network said that “during the process of this review, additional information has come to light.” CNN was unwilling to discuss this information, nor to clarify if it had anything to do with his brother.
“It goes without saying that these decisions are not easy and that there are many complex factors involved,” Zucker said in an email to CNN staff on Saturday.
US Department of Justice Investigates Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Andrew Cuomo
Cuomo posted a statement on Twitter calling the move disappointing.
“This is not how I want my time on CNN to end, but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother. So let me say now, as disappointing as it is, I couldn’t be more proud of the Cuomo Prime Time crew and the job we did as CNN’s # 1 show in the time slot. the most competitive, ”he said.
Even with the dismissal, CNN said it would continue to investigate Cuomo’s conduct “if applicable.”
As women have come forward accusing former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment, her brother, despite being a CNN presenter, has asked sources for information on the accusers and reported to staff at the governor of what he was learning.
He was actively involved in crafting their response to the charges, according to emails and a transcript of his testimony to investigators working for State Attorney General Letitia James. His office discovered that Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women; the former governor resigned in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial.
Cuomo and CNN have been under fire for months for their presenter’s conduct. When it first emerged in May that the presenter had spoken to his brother’s advisers, the network admitted he had broken his rules but, as CNN said in a statement about his earlier suspension this week, “we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and work second.
The transcripts released by James this week revealed many more details of Cuomo’s involvement – the details admitted by CNN were a surprise even to them.
While Cuomo said he never tried to influence CNN’s own coverage of his brother, he spoke to James’s investigators about his calls to other reporters to find out what information they had on some of his. accusers.
Still, in an on-air statement Cuomo gave to CNN following his brother’s resignation in August, Cuomo said, “I never called the press about my brother’s situation.”
Cuomo also said he never “attacked or encouraged anyone to attack a woman who came forward” with charges against his brother. According to email transcripts released this week, Cuomo wrote to assistants that “I have a lead” on one of the accusers, although it is unclear what he meant.
Things moved quickly this week after the transcripts were released. CNN pulled him off the air on Tuesday and suspended him indefinitely, ahead of Saturday’s sack.
“Cuomo Prime Time” was the network’s top rated show this year, airing on Eastern Time at 9 p.m. between the shows of Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon. Its ratings fell in 2021, as it did for most cable news networks in the post-election year.
But that leaves a significant hole in the network’s schedule. Former rival soon becomes free agent: Brian Williams recently announced that he is leaving MSNBC, where he anchored an hour of nightly news, when his contract ends at the end of the year.
There was always a potential for conflict with one brother Cuomo as governor and another as a reporter. But since Chris Cuomo made his CNN debut in 2013 after joining ABC News, it’s always been clear that he wouldn’t cover anything that involved his brother.
That changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, when the governor repeatedly appeared on his brother’s show, exchanging entertaining family jokes but raising ethical red flags. They were then arrested.
Veteran television executive Shelley Ross wrote a column for The New York Times in September saying Chris Cuomo groped her at a party 16 years ago when they both worked for ABC News. Cuomo told the newspaper that “I then apologized to him and I really meant it.”
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