CNN Fires Top Anchor Cuomo Over Brother’s Sexual Harassment Case
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – The Cable News Network (CNN) fired its top anchor after an investigation found “additional information” about him defending his brother, then-New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, facing sexual harassment allegations.
CNN “indefinitely” suspended Chris Cuomo, 52, earlier this week after documents showed he was more extensively involved in helping his brother than he had acknowledged.
On Saturday, CNN said it “retained a respective law firm” to review Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s crisis-management efforts. CNN stressed that “in the process of that review, additional information has come to light.”
The U.S.-based broadcaster suggested more alleged wrongdoing, saying that, “despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.”
CNN didn’t specify the “additional information.”
His firing completes a sudden and shocking turnabout for the famed Cuomo family, raising questions about his future in the competitive and take-no-prisoners television world.
Early last year, the anchorman and his brother and longtime New York Governor. Fans saw Mario Cuomo as “heroes” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They had jocular and what supporters saw as reassuring joint appearances on CNN to discuss early responses to the coronavirus crisis.
But that image was tarnished when Andrew Cuomo resigned as governor in August after allegations that he had sexually harassed 11 women during his time in office.
It seemed for several months that Chris Cuomo, the host of CNN’s most-watched show, might weather the scandal.
But that changed after New York Attorney General Letitia James released documents.
The papers showed he was more extensively involved in helping defend his brother, then-Governor Cuomo, against allegations of sexual misconduct than he admitted publicly or to CNN management.
Cuomo was suspended by CNN on Tuesday, pending a further investigation.
CNN president Jeff Zucker told employees in a memo late Saturday that “Today, I let Chris Cuomo know that we are ending his employment at CNN.”
He added that “It goes without saying that these decisions are not easy, and there are a lot of complex factors involved.”
Cuomo acknowledged his abrupt termination in a statement on social networking site Twitter. “This is not how I want my time at CNN to end, but I have already told you why and how I helped my brother,” he said. “So let me now say as disappointing as this is, I could not be more proud of the team at Cuomo Prime Time … I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work.”
Since his suspension, the 9 p.m. hour on CNN had been hosted by anchor Anderson Cooper, extending his normal 8 p.m. show. Next week, Cuomo’s time slot will be filled by CNN Saturday morning host Michael Smerconish.
CNN will look for a new 9 p.m. host, with many expected to line up for the well-paid job once the dust is settled over yet another scandal in television land.
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