CNN CEO Jeff Zucker fired Chris Cuomo but didn’t have enough time to name a replacement before he was fired. The latest industry speculation has either Chris Wallace or Brian Williams anchoring the 9 p.m. slot formerly held by Chris Cuomo.
Cuomo is the brother of former Governor Andrew Cuomo, the three-term Democrat whose bid to secure a fourth term running New York State was derailed by allegations of sexual harassment by a number of women. He also faced investigation for thousands of elderly nursing home patients who died after the former governor ordered New York nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients. The former governor resigned before Impeachment proceedings began in the state Legislature. After reports surfaced that Chris Cuomo had advised his brother how to massage media coverage of the sexual harassment charges against him, Zucker fired him.
Officially, Zucker resigned from CNN after he was outed for having a consensual relationship with a direct report, which violated the network’s policy since he did not inform them of it. An NPR report said several of Zucker’s associates told them that the decision to leave was not his.
“I am a journalist at heart,” Licht reportedly wrote in a recent memo to CNN News staff. “While I have enjoyed every minute at ‘The Late Show,’ I am joining CNN because I feel a genuine pull to return to news at such a critical moment in history.”
Licht noted he understood there were probably many questions about all the recent network changes. He said he expected the main question would be how CNN would change. “The honest answer is that I don’t know yet,” said Licht. “David Zaslav has given me one simple directive: To ensure CNN remains the global leader in news as part of Warner Bros. Discovery.”
A request to Licht for comment on reports about replacing Cuomo was not immediately answered.
According to a report in “The Daily Beast”, former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace is getting serious consideration as Cuomo’s replacement. Wallace left Fox shortly after Zucker’s departure to work on network’s streaming element CNN+ so it would be a lateral transfer of someone already under contract with CNN.
The Beast speculated Licht may try a different direction, hiring a known brand from outside the company to make a splash. The name reportedly being floated by insiders is former NBC News anchor Brian Williams. The report explained Williams has always had his sights set on a nighttime talk show.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.