CNN fires Chris Cuomo
CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.
Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.
- New documents released last week showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment.
- "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 said in a statement.
Details: A source familiar with the situation tells Axios that the recommendation to terminate Cuomo came from the law firm, which uncovered the other information and advised the network to terminate Cuomo, rather than keep him suspended indefinitely.
- Another source tells Axios that the decision to suspend Cuomo this week came in response to employee frustration with the way Cuomo's ongoing scandals have been handled by the network.
- Attorney Debra Katz informed CNN this week of a new sexual harassment allegation against Chris Cuomo, according to the New York Times.
- In a statement to the Times, Katz said the allegation was made by a staffer at a different network and "unrelated to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo matter.” A spokesperson for Chris Cuomo denied the allegations to the Times.
What he's saying: "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," Cuomo said in a statement tweeted out by CNN's media anchor Brian Stelter.
- "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. I owe them all and will miss that group of special people who did really important work."
- Earlier this week, Cuomo said on his radio show that the network's previously announced indefinite suspension "hurts" and was "embarrassing."
What to watch: CNN will need to fill Cuomo's 9pm primetime spot. One of the company's weekend anchors, Michael Smerconish, will fill in for Cuomo next week. That announcement came Friday, several days after the network announced Cuomo's indefinite suspension.
Editor’s note: This is a developing story and has been updated with relevant news throughout.