A mere four days after suspending him indefinitely, CNN said Saturday it had fired star anchor Chris Cuomo following an investigation into help he gave his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. “Additional information has come to light” that led to the termination, CNN said in a statement without going into details.
“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,” reads 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.”
CNN had suspended Cuomo on Tuesday, a day after New York Attorney General Letitia James released documents that showed the anchor had been far more involved in helping his brother defend himself from allegations of sexual miscount than what he had revealed to the public and his employer. The documents also made clear Cuomo used his contacts in the press to get information about the women who had accused his brother of sexual harassment. The turn of events marks a stunning fall from grace for the anchor who had enjoyed the support of Jeff Zucker, CNN’s president, in recent months despite news of how he had tried to help his brother amid a growing scandal. Zucker told employees of his decision in a memo Saturday. “It goes without saying that these decisions are not easy, and there are a lot of complex factors involved,” Zucker wrote.
Cuomo posted a statement on Twitter acknowledging the turn of events. “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 and the work we did as CNN’s #1 show in the most competitive time slot.” On his SiriusXM radio show on Wednesday, Cuomo said he was “embarrassed” by the decision to suspend him. Cuomo had been quick to point out he never reported on his brother’s sexual harassment scandals and insisted he was not an adviser, but rather a concerned brother. Although CNN management had initially stood by Cuomo, many within the network expressed anger at the way he had seemingly been given a pass to break basic journalistic ethics.