Why CNN Just 'Terminated' Chris Cuomo

In 2020, many of us were glued to CNN as the Cuomo brothers – Andrew the governor, and Chris the cable news star, brought some levity in the form of jokes and giant swabs (via People) as well as a sense of security as a deadly global pandemic spread across the United States. A year later, Andrew resigned as New York governor, a promising political career cut short by numerous sexual harassment allegations, as well as accusations that his administration covered up hundreds of COVID-19 related deaths in the state's nursing home. 

Now, just days after he was suspended "indefinitely," CNN says Chris Cuomo is gone too. His departure was revealed in a statement made by the news giant, which said, "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. We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately." Until his termination, Cuomo's show – "Cuomo Prime Time" – was CNN's highest-rated show, and his suspension seemed to give an additional "must-see TV" factor to the show (via Variety).

Chris Cuomo didn't want to end things this way

It appeared to be an open secret that Chris had been working with and for his brother Andrew to help the New York governor strategize a way out of the problems generated by inappropriate behavior. But a recent document dump showed that Chris' involvement in Andrew's campaign to clear himself was much deeper than the former had made it out to be. Some of the papers that were made public at the end of November showed that the (now former) CNN anchor had tried to find out whether articles on Andrew's indiscretions were in the work. That, as well as other "new" facts that the network found, appeared to have been enough to let Chris Cuomo go (via The New York Times). 

Cuomo has since released his own statement saying, "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" (via CNN). 

Social media was divided over the abrupt termination

CNN's decision to let Chris Cuomo go divided the internet. Fans and critics on social media shared their thoughts about the end of "Cuomo Prime Time." "Maybe I can start watching again without throwing up in my mouth. Oh wait – you still have Don Lemon. Get rid of Don too and I'll be back. Don lemon [sic] and Chris Cuomo are the Hannity and Carlsons of CNN. All 4 have to go," grumbled one Twitter user. A second was shocked by the speed and readiness with which CNN moved to fire Cuomo, remarking, "Sheesh..,, he was their star... I'm shocked how savagely CNN did this. I@actually think Chris is a bigger a***le than Andrew."

But there were also those who felt CNN was making a mistake. One of the ex anchor's supporters said, "Cuomo was one of the best reporters" and that "he and Don Lemon are the reasons why my family and I tune in every night without fail." Feeling the reprisal was too harsh, the commenter thought a suspension was punishment enough and predicted that the station's rating would suffer. "You guys let one of the best of the best go," they lamented. A different commenter added, "People make mistakes. And he made a big one. Hope he can recover. I'll miss his show – he and Don Lemon were my favorites."