CNN fired its top-rated anchor, Southampton resident Chris Cuomo, on Saturday following revelations he used his sources to counter coverage of the sex scandal that ended the career of his brother, disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The Cuomo Prime Time host was initially suspended after New York Attorney General Letitia James — a Democratic gubernatorial primary hopeful — released texts and other messages showing he sought to use his own sources in news media outlets to find out which reporters were covering allegations that the former governor sexually harassed 11 women, as well as information about the accusers.
“We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately,” CNN said in a statement days after suspending him “pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense.”
Andrew Cuomo was forced to step down as governor in August after women alleged the former governor committed sexual misconduct. He has denied any wrongdoing and has reportedly been hiding out in the Hamptons ever since.
Cuomo, who hosted CNN’s most-watched prime time news show, had admitted in May he breached some of the network’s rules in advising his brother how to handle the allegations from a public relations perspective. He also pledged not to report on the case on air. He later expressed regret over his firing.
“The way my time ended at CNN was hard,” he tweeted Monday, adding that he ended his radio show, too. “While I have a thick skin, I also have a family, for whom the past week has been extraordinarily difficult. So, right now, I have to take a step back and focus on what comes next.”
In journalism it is considered a breach of ethics to use one’s position to advocate for a personal cause or to conduct investigations for personal reasons. A criminal complaint charging Andrew Cuomo with a misdemeanor sex offense was filed on Oct. 29 in an upstate New York court.