CNN Fires Chris Cuomo For Helping Brother Solve Scandal

NEW YORK (AP) – CNN fired anchor anchor Chris Cuomo on Saturday less than a week after new information emerged about how he supported his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, as the politician. She faced sexual harassment charges earlier this year.

The network suspended its prime hour host on Tuesday to investigate his conduct, after New York’s attorney general release details shows that he was more involved than was previously known in helping strategize and reach out to other journalists as his brother fought to keep his job.

CNN hired a law firm to do that review, which will not be identified. Attorneys have recommended the termination of Chris Cuomo’s contract and CNN director Jeff Zucker announced the decision on Saturday.

“It goes without saying that these decisions are not easy and there are a lot of complicating factors involved,” Zucker said in an email to CNN staff on Saturday.

The network said that “during that review, additional information came to light.” CNN would not discuss that information, or describe whether it had anything to do with his brother.

Cuomo released a statement on Twitter calling the decision disappointing.

“This is not how I wanted my time at CNN to end but I told you why and how I helped my brother. So now let me say how disappointingly this is, I couldn’t be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time and the work we’ve done,” he said.

Even with the dismissal, CNN said it will continue to investigate Cuomo’s conduct “as appropriate.”

A year ago, the two sons of the late New York Governor Mario Cuomo were flying high: Andrew as a three-term governor was initially praised by many for his handling of the pandemic, Chris as a personality to be judged. highest price on CNN. Now both are out of work.

When women came forward alleging sexual harassment by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, his brother, despite being a CNN host, pressed sources with information about the accusers and reported them back to him. the governor’s staff on what he is learning.

He actively helped draft their response to the charges, according to emails and transcripts of his testimony to investigators working for State Attorney General Letitia James. Her office found Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women; The former governor resigned in August to avoid a possible impeachment trial.

Chris Cuomo and CNN have been under fire for months over anchorer behavior. When it first emerged in May that the anchor had spoken to his brother’s advisers, the network acknowledged that he had broken its rules, but, as CNN said in a statement. father when he was suspended earlier this week, “we also appreciate the unique position he has entered and understand his need to put family first and work second”.

The memo released by James this week reveals significantly more detail about Cuomo’s involvement — behavior that CNN executives admit was a surprise even to them.

While Cuomo said he never tried to influence CNN’s coverage of his brother, he told investigators to James about his calls with other journalists to find out. information they have about some of his accusers.

That seems to contradict an online statement Cuomo made on CNN after his brother stepped down in August. Cuomo has said that “I never called the press about my brother’s situation. “

Cuomo also said that he never “attacked, nor encouraged anyone to attack any woman who came first” with the accusations against his brother. According to an email transcript released this week, Cuomo wrote to aides that “I have a legitimate relationship” with one of the accusers, though it’s unclear what he meant.

Things moved quickly this week after the transcripts were released. CNN put him on the air on Tuesday and suspend him indefinitely before his execution on Saturday.

It was clearly a painful decision for Zucker, who installed Cuomo as a morning show host shortly after taking over CNN in 2013, then moved him to the most important time. As of this week, he’s still supporting Cuomo despite the criticism. “Cuomo Prime Time” is this year’s highest-rated show, airing at 9 p.m. ET between the shows of Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.

The firing left a significant hole in the network’s schedule. A former rival soon to be a free agent: Brian Williams recently announced that he will be leaving MSNBC, where he has anchored a nightly news hour, when his contract ends at the end of the year. .

There is always one potential for conflict with one brother Cuomo as governor and another as a journalist. But ever since Chris Cuomo joined CNN, it has always been clear that he will not cover up anything related to his brother.

That changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, when the governor appeared on his brother’s show multiple times, selling family fun jokes to entertain viewers but holding the flags high. moral red. They were then paused.

Shelley Ross, a veteran TV executive, wrote a column for The New York Times in September saying that Chris Cuomo groped her at a party 16 years ago, when they were both working for ABC News. “I apologized to her then, and I mean it,” Cuomo told the newspaper. CNN Fires Chris Cuomo For Helping Brother Solve Scandal

Dais Johnston

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