After details about his brother, the former governor of New York, emerged, CNN suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely. Andrew Cuomo will be facing sexual harassment charges earlier in the year.
According to the network, documents that New York’s attorney General released Monday showed that Cuomo was more involved in his brother’s efforts as CNN executives had previously known.
“As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” the network said.
According to emails and transcripts of his testimony to state Attorney General Letitia Jams, the CNN anchor sought out information from sources about his brother’s accusers. Her office discovered that Andrew Cuomo had sexually harassed at most 11 women.
Chris Cuomo had previously admitted to talking with his brother and giving advice to the governor when he was facing harassment charges. Monday’s information revealed much more about Chris Cuomo’s actions. Andrew Cuomo quit in August to avoid an impeachment trial.
Cuomo’s program airs on weeknights at 9 p.m. Eastern. It averaged 1.3million viewers. This narrowly surpasses Anderson Cooper’s Nielsen ratings as CNN’s most-watched show. As with many cable newscasts viewers are now much lower after the election year.
Cuomo spoke on Monday night on his program, addressing COVID-19 as well as politics, but he did not mention his own problems.
Cuomo’s request for comment was not immediately answered by the lawyer representing him during this summer’s testimony.
Anderson Cooper subbed for Cuomo on his show Tuesday.
During the first two months of the pandemic, Cuomo interviewed his brother on the air a number of times. It was a hit with viewers, although it violated CNN’s policy of not having Cuomo report on his brother, and was a programming choice that has grown worse with time and additional revelations.
When Andrew was fighting the charges last year, Chris Cuomo consulted his brother’s aides often. Sometimes, he disagreed with their advice.
“This is my brother, and I’m trying to help my brother through a situation where he told me he did nothing wrong,” Cuomo testified last July to investigators at the attorney general’s office.
He claimed that he didn’t influence the coverage by his network.
Cuomo also said he reached out to other journalists to find out whether they were writing stories about his brother, most notably seeking information on what Ronan Farrow of the New Yorker was writing. He acknowledged he didn’t tell CNN he was doing this, and characterized his actions as nothing out of the ordinary for a journalist.
Critics called for CNN to act following the release of the attorney general. David A. Graham, The Atlantic’s editor, stated that Cuomo should resign or be fired by CNN.
The Washington Post first reported that Cuomo had spoken with his brother’s aides last May. CNN issued a statement stating that Cuomo’s actions were unacceptable, but did not discipline him.
Cuomo, a lawyer, is 13 years younger than Andrew Cuomo, who he has described as his best friend. They are the sons of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, who was in office from 1982 to 1996.
After working for ABC News for many years, he joined CNN as the morning show’s co-host in 2013.
A veteran TV executive, Shelley Ross, wrote a column for The New York Times in September saying Cuomo had groped her at a party 16 years ago. Cuomo told the newspaper that “I apologized to her then, and I meant it.”