“Effective immediately,” CNN said on Saturday that host Chris Cuomo has been “terminated” by the network.
A law firm hired by Cuomo to investigate how he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when he was accused of sexual harassment, made the announcement.
On Tuesday, CNN suspended Cuomo “indefinitely,” according to a statement from the network. On Friday, the law firm hired by the network presented its findings, and CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker fired Cuomo on Saturday, according to a person with knowledge of the case.
“Cuomo Prime Time” producers and other workers will continue in place. Next week, Michael Smerconish, Cuomo’s regular replacement, will host the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot.
In a statement, CNN said: “In the wake of fresh evidence about Chris Cuomo’s involvement in his brother’s defense, he was suspended earlier this week. A reputable law firm was hired to conduct the review, which we have now discontinued with immediate effect.”
“An additional piece of information has come to light during the course of our inquiry,” CNN said in a statement. “Although we have been terminated, we will continue to investigate as necessary.”
Chris Cuomo made a statement of his own on Saturday, saying, “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.” “I don’t want this to be the end of my tenure at CNN, but I’ve already explained why and how I was able to help my brother. That being said, I’m proud of the Cuomo Prime Time crew and what we accomplished as CNN’s No. 1 show in the most competitive time slot. I owe them all a debt of gratitude and shall miss the particular set of people who contributed greatly to my success.”
Debra Katz, a lawyer, told CNN on Wednesday that a client of hers had made a sexual misconduct allegation against Chris Cuomo. A few hours later, the New York Times reported that Katz had informed CNN of the allegation. Cuomo’s “former junior colleague [at another network]” is the client, according to the New York Times.
An inquiry to Katz was not immediately returned. A spokeswoman for Cuomo also declined to comment, however the spokesperson did tell the New York Times that “these apparently anonymous charges are not true.”.
In a statement, a CNN spokeswoman said, “We terminated Chris because of the complaint we received about his conduct in relation to his brother’s defense. We acted immediately this week when additional claims were brought to our attention, and there was no reason to delay.”
Chris Cuomo’s ties to the governor’s office have been widely publicized for months, but Monday’s big document leak revealed all of the facts. New York Attorney General Letitia James disclosed documents showing that CNN presenter Chris Cuomo was effectively working as an unpaid adviser to Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the same time.
According to the texts that James’ office discovered, the relationship was both friendly and indecent. A series of text messages between Chris Cuomo and aides and allies of the governor reveal that he tried to utilize his ties in the press to assist prepare Andrew Cuomo’s team as his accusers began to come forward.
Chris Cuomo informed viewers on the day his brother quit back in August that “this circumstance is unlike anything I could have anticipated.”
“He made the point that he never reported on the sexual harassment incident or tried to influence CNN’s coverage.” “I tried to be there for my brother” when the issue broke, he admitted.
“I’m not a counselor. I am a brother. There was nothing I could do because I had no power over anything. So, I went to hear what was said and give my two cents “he stated.
CNN’s top-rated show, “Cuomo Prime Time,” remained on the air throughout the scandal because the network’s executives stood by Cuomo.
“Reliable Sources” said at the time that CNN employees were enraged by CNN anchor Chris Cuomo’s disregard of journalistic standards.
Only when James’ office disclosed sworn testimony and other raw materials from her investigation into the ex-conduct governor’s did public outcry grow stronger.
At a press conference in New York on Monday, CNN executives indicated they would be reviewing “thousands of pages of more transcript and evidence” for several days.
As a result of this, CNN announced on Tuesday night that the content warranted suspension.
As soon as Chris confessed to us that he had advised his brother’s staff, he broke our standards, and we acknowledged that publicly,” the network said in an official statement. Nonetheless, we were able to understand and appreciate the unique situation he was in and his desire to put family before work.”
“But according to the network, these documents show that he was more involved in his brother’s efforts than previously thought. As a result, Chris has been placed on indefinite suspension.”
Initially, Cuomo refused to respond. It was “embarrassing,” but understandable, he added on his radio broadcast on Wednesday. As part of his statement, he stated he never meant to “compromise any of my colleagues” and that he would honor the process.
It was revealed on Saturday that an outside law firm was involved in the process, which was previously unknown.
Cuomo was informed of his dismissal on Saturday after the texts and documents revealed evidence of a major breach of CNN standards.