The star anchor Chris Cuomo was fired by CNN on Saturday amid a community inquiry into his efforts to assist his brother, Andrew M. Cuomo, then the governor of New York, struggle off a sexual harassment scandal.
“Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending additional analysis of latest info that got here to gentle about his involvement together with his brother’s protection,” CNN stated in a press release on Saturday. “We retained a revered legislation agency to conduct the evaluation, and have terminated him, efficient instantly. Whereas within the means of that evaluation, extra info has come to gentle. Regardless of the termination, we are going to examine as acceptable.”
The announcement accomplished a shocking downfall for Chris Cuomo, the top-rated anchor at CNN and a veteran tv journalist who had constructed a profitable broadcast profession outdoors of his famed political household. Till final month, Mr. Cuomo, the host of the 9 p.m. program “Cuomo Prime Time,” had loved the assist of CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker, and he confronted no self-discipline for his behind-the-scenes strategizing with Andrew Cuomo’s political aides, a breach of primary journalistic norms.
However a brand new batch of testimony and textual content messages launched by the New York lawyer normal on Nov. 29 revealed that the CNN anchor had performed a extra intimate and engaged function in his brother’s political affairs than the community stated it had beforehand identified. CNN executives, who had been steadfast in backing Mr. Cuomo, positioned him on indefinite suspension on Tuesday, an indication of deep unease among the many community’s administration.
“This isn’t how I need my time at CNN to finish however I’ve already advised you why and the way I helped my brother,” Mr. Cuomo stated in a press release on Saturday. “So let me now say as disappointing as that is, I couldn’t be extra happy with the workforce at ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ and the work we did as CNN’s #1 present in probably the most aggressive time slot. I owe all of them and can miss that group of particular individuals who did actually essential work.”
The spectacle of a high-profile cable information anchor advising his highly effective politician brother amid scandal was a longstanding headache for a lot of CNN journalists, who privately expressed discomfort at actions that, of their view, compromised the community’s credibility. The CNN anchor Jake Tapper went public together with his considerations in Might, telling The New York Instances that his colleague had “put us in a foul spot,” including, “I can’t think about a world by which anyone in journalism thinks that that was acceptable.”
Mr. Zucker, for a time no less than, had stood behind Mr. Cuomo, saying the anchor was “human” and dealing with “very distinctive circumstances.” The community additionally supplied the anchor a proper depart if he wished to work extra intently together with his brother’s workforce.
Within the wake of Chris Cuomo’s suspension on Tuesday, CNN stated it might embark on an inner evaluation of his conduct, however the community made no rapid plans to retain an outdoor legislation agency or forensic investigators. The evaluation was anticipated to deal with what moral journalistic strains Mr. Cuomo might have crossed, in accordance with an individual aware of the community’s plans.
Mr. Cuomo, beforehand at ABC Information, was considered one of CNN’s first main hires after Mr. Zucker turned its president in 2013. A morning present, “New Day,” was organized partly round Mr. Cuomo’s bombastic, fast-talking on-air persona. Mr. Cuomo additionally introduced reportorial expertise from his time protecting wildfires, capturing rampages and conflict zones.
He moved to prime-time in 2018, beating out different distinguished hosts like Mr. Tapper to take over the coveted 9 p.m. slot on the community. “Cuomo Prime Time” turned CNN’s highest-rated hour, though it frequently attracted fewer viewers than rivals on Fox Information and MSNBC.
The Downfall of Andrew Cuomo
The trail to resignation. After drawing nationwide reward for his management within the early days of the pandemic, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was confronted with a number of scandals that ultimately led to his resignation on Aug. 10, 2021. Here’s what to learn about his political demise:
The blurred moral strains of the Cuomos’ relationship turned obvious nearly instantly: In 2013, the community was criticized after Chris Cuomo twice interviewed his brother on “New Day.”
However CNN embraced the brothers’ on-air relationship on the onset of the pandemic, when Chris Cuomo, who contracted Covid, broadcast his present from quarantine within the basement of his Lengthy Island residence. Andrew Cuomo joined a number of instances for highly-rated emotional conversations, which Mr. Zucker praised for his or her “authenticity and relatability and vulnerability.”
“That’s what the brothers Cuomo are giving us proper now,” Mr. Zucker advised The Instances in April 2020.
The subsequent 12 months, as Andrew Cuomo was dealing with a rising variety of sexual harassment accusations, Chris Cuomo recused himself from reporting on the scandal, leaving a prime-time gap in CNN’s protection of what was turning out to be a nationwide information story. On the identical time, away from the anchor desk, Chris Cuomo was collaborating in technique periods with Andrew Cuomo’s high aides.