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CNN President Tells Staff He Wishes He'd Taken Action on Chris Cuomo Controversy Sooner

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File

CNN President Jeff Zucker addressed Chris Cuomo's firing Tuesday, telling staff in a town hall that, in hindsight, he wishes he had taken action sooner regarding the anchor's controversies but that he was "comfortable" with the end result.


A CNN insider said that Zucker pointed out that it was easy to criticize the network's handling of the situation but that he was at peace with the outcome.

The network fired Cuomo Saturday, just days after it had suspended the "Cuomo Primetime" host following revelations that he had been more involved in the defense of his brother against sexual harassment allegations than was previously known. 

The anchor had used his media sources to find out about women who accused his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), of sexual harassment and was in regular contact with the governor's top aide about his findings.

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

Earlier this year, Zucker had elected not to punish Cuomo when news broke that he had helped his brother by participating in strategy calls with the governor's top aides amid a number of accusations of sexual harassment.

A CNN source said that the network had made the right decision to fire Cuomo and that there was internal "universal relief" over his termination.

"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 told Fox News Digital.

In addition to Cuomo's involvement in his brother's scandal, CNN was informed on Wednesday of "new allegations" that a former colleague of his from their time at ABC News had accused the anchor of sexual misconduct, leading CNN to take immediate action.


"Based on the report we received regarding Chris’s conduct with his brother’s defense, we had cause to terminate," a CNN spokesperson said in a statement Saturday night. "When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action."

Cuomo reportedly did not receive a severance when he was fired, as CNN said over the weekend that the company had "cause to terminate."

Since his firing, the anchor has claimed that Zucker was aware of the extent of his involvement in his brother’s defense. He is reportedly preparing to sue the network in the hopes of being paid the remainder of the money for his contract, which is around $18 million.

CNN told Fox News Digital that Cuomo has "made a number of accusations that are patently false."

Cuomo has also left his SiriusXM radio show, "Let’s Get After It with Chris Cuomo," after the radio network reportedly demanded he quit the show.


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