NEW YORK — CNN indefinitely suspended anchor Chris Cuomo on Tuesday after details emerged about how he helped his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to face charges of sexual harassment earlier this year.
The network said documents released by New York’s attorney general Monday indicated Cuomo took a greater level of involvement in his brother’s efforts than CNN executives previously knew.
“As a result, we have suspended Chris indefinitely, pending further evaluation,” the network said.
The CNN anchor pressed sources for information on his brother’s accusers and reported back to the governor’s staff, and was active in helping craft their response to the charges, according to emails and a transcript of his testimony to investigators working for state Attorney General Letitia James. Her office found Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women.
Chris Cuomo previously acknowledged talking to his brother and offering advice when the governor faced harassment charges. But the information released Monday revealed far more details about what exactly Chris Cuomo did. Andrew Cuomo resigned in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial.
Cuomo’s program, which airs at 9 p.m. Eastern time on weeknights, averaged 1.3 million viewers, narrowly outpacing Anderson Cooper as CNN’s most popular show, according to the Nielsen company. Like many cable newscasts, viewership is down significantly after being swollen during the election year.
Cuomo appeared on his program on Monday night, talking about COVID-19 and politics without mentioning his own issues.
There was no immediate response to a request for comment sent to Cuomo and the lawyer who represented him during this summer’s testimony.
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.
Chris Cuomo frequently consulted with his brother’s aides when Andrew was fighting the charges last May, sometimes disagreeing 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 has said he did nothing to influence his own network’s coverage of the story.
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 ..[Read More…]