Embattled anchor Chris Cuomo has been ‘terminated’ by CNN ‘effective immediately,’ the network announced in a statement Saturday.
‘Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense,’ the network said in the statement.
‘We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate.’
Embattled anchor Chris Cuomo has been ‘terminated’ by CNN ‘effective immediately,’ the network announced in a statement Saturday
Cuomo, 51, issued acknowledging his axing Saturday in a public statement expressing regret in his part of the scandal – but asserted that he was only helping his brother, who was forced to resign in August.
‘This is not how I want my time at CNN to end,’ the veteran TV journalist wrote in a post published to social media.
‘But I have already told you why and how I helped my brother.’
Cuomo joined CNN as a field anchor in February 2013 following stints at ABC and Fox News. After rising through the ranks, he was tapped in March 2018 to host Cuomo Prime Time.
According to some estimates, Cuomo has an annual salary of $6million.
New York Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation found that Andrew Cuomo, 63, sexually harassed at least 11 women. He resigned as governor in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial.
The last time he talked to his brother about the charges, Chris Cuomo said during his testimony, was to figure out what was going to happen and what he would tell their 90-year-old mother.
Cuomo has insisted he has done nothing to try and influence CNN’s coverage of his brother’s political problems, and that it would be quickly found out if he did.
Throughout his testimony, Chris frequently invoked family when asked to explain his frequent contact — often combative — with Andrew’s aides as they tried to figure out a way to save the governor’s job.
‘This is my brother, and I’m trying to help my brother through a situation where he has told me he did nothing wrong,’ Chris testified. ‘And that’s it for me. How do I help protect my family? How do I protect him? Probably should have been thinking more about how I protect myself, which just never occurred to me.’
At the request of his brother’s aides, Cuomo also used his contacts to find out what other journalists were going to report, most notably the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow. Cuomo argued ‘the idea of one reporter calling another to find out what’s coming down the pipe is completely business as usual.’
Cuomo testified that he didn’t tell anyone at CNN that he was contacting other journalists to find out about the Farrow piece.
On March 1, Chris said on air that he was aware of the accusations about his brother, after a third woman came forward to accuse him.
But he said he could not report on it.
‘Obviously I am aware of what is going on with my brother,’ he said.
‘And obviously I cannot cover it because he is my brother. Now, of course CNN has to cover it. They have covered it extensively and they will continue to do so.’
He then moved on, having thanked his audience ‘for being straight with me, and I’ve always been straight with you’.
He said he ‘always cared very deeply about these issues, and profoundly so.’
Several weeks of extremely uncomfortable handovers then ensued, as Chris refused to discuss the news – which at the time was a big story – while his co-hosts before and after discussed it extensively.
When it was first reported by The Washington Post last May that Cuomo had strategized with his brother’s aides, CNN said that it was inappropriate but did not discipline him.
‘When Chris admitted to us that he had offered advice to his brother’s staff, he broke our rules and we acknowledged that publicly,’ a CNN spokesperson said on Tuesday. ‘But we also appreciated the unique position he was in and understood his need to put family first and job second.’
Andrew was forced to resign in August, and Chris was suspended on Tuesday – the day after the attorney general published the trove of documents.