CNN executives reportedly suggested to its primetime host Chris Cuomo that he step back from his show to advise New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) amid growing accusations of sexual harassment.
The story: Executives at the network proposed to Cuomo to take a “temporary leave,” The New York Times reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.
CNN did not ask its primetime host to take a break from his show but rather gave him the option do to so. Sources with the network described the suggested leave of absence as “informal and strictly optional” and “not a request.”
The CNN host rejected the proposition and said he wanted to continue in his role as the host of his show and promised to follow the network’s rules that prohibit him from speaking about the New York governor’s scandal.
According to the paper, he vowed not to discuss the New York governor’s crisis-response strategy only with his brother.
Worth noting: The Times also reported that some CNN colleagues were not happy that Cuomo did not address the recently released state attorney general’s report that alleges the governor sexually harassed at least 11 women.
CNN has not issued an official statement to address Cuomo’s role in the sexual harassment probe.
How we got here: The idea to take some time off was floated after it was discovered back in May that Cuomo took part in his brother’s strategic planning sessions.
The CNN host was already under fire for failing to report on his brother’s nursing home scandal even as he interviewed the governor several times last year. The network claimed its rules typically would not allow Cuomo to cover his brother, but that they made an exception during the coronavirus pandemic last year.
Meanwhile, Cuomo apologized to CNN and his colleagues for participating in the calls in a monologue on “Cuomo Prime Time.”
“I understand why that was a problem for CNN. It will not happen again. It was a mistake because I put my colleagues here, who I believe are the best in the business, in a bad spot. I never intended for that. I would never intend for that and I am sorry for that,” he said.
Cuomo also promised that “I know where the line is.”
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