NEW YORK — CNN has fired star primetime anchor Chris Cuomo after new details emerged recently about the extent of his involvement in the effort to help his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when the former governor was facing accusations of sexual harassment.
The cable network's public relations team confirmed the news early Saturday evening.
"Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother's defense," CNN's communications arm wrote. "We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately."
The review began after fresh documents were released by New York's attorney general, indicating the news anchor had more involvement with his brother than cable executives had known before.
CNN said even more "additional information" came to light during the review process.
"Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate," CNN added.
Chris Cuomo released the following statement regarding his termination:
"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. 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."
The CNN anchor had previously acknowledged communicating with his brother and offering advice during the former governor's scandal. But, there are now accusations that Chris Cuomo played a more substantial role.
Chris Cuomo 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.
The former anchor's program, which had aired at 9 p.m. ET on weeknights, averaged 1.3 million viewers, narrowly outpacing Anderson Cooper as CNN's most popular show, according to Nielsen ratings. Like many cable newscasts, viewership is down significantly after being swollen during the election year.