Jeff Zucker tells CNN staff he wishes he'd taken action on Cuomo sooner but he's comfortable with end result

Media top headlines December 7

In media news today, CNN and Chris Cuomo issue scathing statements against each other, the former anchor announces he’s leaving his SiriusXM radio show, and a New York Times op-ed gets mocked for fearing free library is contributing to gentrification.

CNN President Jeff Zucker addressed Chris Cuomo’s stunning firing in a town hall with staffers Tuesday, saying he was at peace with the result but may have in hindsight taken action sooner.

According to a CNN insider, Zucker said it was easy to criticize CNN’s handling of the situation, but he was “comfortable” with the end result. 

CNN fired Cuomo on Saturday after a brief suspension, following reports that his involvement with his brother Andrew Cuomo’s political defense against sexual harassment allegations was far more extensive than previously known. 

“Yes, in hindsight he may have taken action sooner but result he’s comfortable with,” an insider told Fox News Digital about Zucker’s words to CNN staff.

Zucker had previously chosen not to formally reprimand Cuomo when news first came to light that he’d helped his brother, the former New York governor, participating in strategy calls with top aides as he faced multiple accusations of harassment. Cuomo had also been allowed to do friendly interviews with his brother at the outset of the pandemic, despite his clear conflict of interest.

A spokesperson for Chris Cuomo said the former anchor and CNN boss Jeff Zucker had "no secrets" regarding his involvement in protecting his scandal-plagued big brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)
(Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images  |  CNN)

A CNN source told Fox News Digital this week that the network had done the right thing with Cuomo and there was “universal relief” over his dismissal inside the company.

“That’s separate from liking Chris or not liking Chris – it’s people feeling that there was a right thing to do, and it was done,” the insider said.

CNN fired Chris Cuomo on Saturday.

While Cuomo struggled to third place behind Sean Hannity at Fox News and Rachel Maddow at MSNBC, he was CNN’s highest-rated host and one of its biggest stars. His departure has left a major hole in its lineup. He also quit his SiriusXM radio show, “Let’s Get After It.”

His departure from CNN has been acrimonious. Cuomo and the network have exchanged barbs since his firing, with Cuomo claiming that Zucker was fully aware of the depth of his involvement with his brother’s operations. He is reportedly pursuing litigation to recoup the remainder of the money on his contract, which could be upward of $18 million.

CNN told Fox News Digital that Cuomo has “made a number of accusations that are patently false” and are disappointed with his characterization of events. 

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