OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Things are not going the way former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo wants them to just months after being fired by the cable news giant.
Cuomo, who had one of the highest-rated shows on CNN when he was fired, was a rating flop in his debut for News Nation with only approximately 147,000 viewers, the Washington Examiner reported. In the key 25-54 demographic he only drew around 8,000 viewers.
Additionally, syndicated show reruns, such as Paw Patrol, SpongeBob, and Seinfeld, reportedly drew a greater audience among the 25-54 demographic and among total viewers. Fox News’s Tucker Carlson Tonight continued to lead the prime-time spot’s ratings with nearly 2.9 million total viewers — more than 20 times the viewership of what Cuomo drew. CNN’s Anderson Cooper came in second, and MSNBC’s All In hosted by Chris Hayes placed third.
In fairness to Cuomo, News Nation is a new network that does not have the audience of the others, but he is being paid around $1 million annually to change that.
.@ChrisCuomo wants to hear from YOU about what’s affecting viewers across America. Call 1-844-968-7720 to let him know what you have to say.
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) October 4, 2022
In July the former CNN anchor hit back at former colleagues and current CNN talent Don Lemon and Jake Tapper during an interview with Dan Abrams on NewsNation.
“They’re good people. They’re good people,” he said of his former coworkers.
“I cannot blame people for acting on what they’re told,” the 51-year-old said.
“Should they have called me? Of course. But I understand the circumstances, also,” he said.
“I understand why they may not have felt that was an option. But these are good people,” he said.
“They take their jobs seriously. I’m not gonna judge them for what they say about me based on what they knew and didn’t know,” he said. “I wish them well.”
He also said that CNN knew about the guidance he was giving his brother, disgraced former NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I never lied and there were no secrets,” he said.
“I have been obsessed with what happened, when, what was known, and there are a lot of facts that I believe are going to come out,” he said.
Cuomo said he did not attempt to influence any of his friends in the media on their coverage of his brother.
“There was a curiosity at the time by my brother’s team, obviously, of what was coming next, who was writing what,” the former CNN host said.
“I could have contacted Ronan (Farrow). I could have contacted anybody who was working in the media — I’ve got a lot of relationships — and I probably could have justified it by saying, ‘I just want to make sure that you’re straight on the facts. I don’t want to influence you.’ I never did that,” he said.
And Cuomo said he is thrilled about his new job at NewsNation.
“I’m going to come to NewsNation and I want to build something special here,” the journalist said. “Work with Dan (Abrams), work with the team here. They’ve got great people who are really hungry to make a difference in ways that I think matter.”
He hinted that he may add more of his personal opinion into his new show.
“I’d like to say yes, because it’s a good sell,” he said. “But I’ve always been that way. I really don’t fake the funk.”
.@ChrisCuomo is joining NewsNation: The cable news veteran believes he can provide viewers a break from America’s “binary” media when his new show launches this fall. More: https://t.co/TXSo1HxHWI pic.twitter.com/5M9fl1JVxB
— NewsNation (@NewsNation) July 27, 2022
In March, in a demand for arbitration letter directed at CNN Cuomo stuck the knife in the back of both Lemon and CNN anchor Jake Tapper, The Daily Wire reported.
“Cuomo had no reason to believe that his assistance to Gov. Cuomo was inconsistent with CNN’s or Turner’s policies nor its expectations, especially given the fact that Zucker and Gollust had encouraged him to do so and had themselves provided advice to Gov. Cuomo. In fact, CNN fostered a culture in which the network’s standards and practices were a constantly moving target, modified at CNN executives’ discretion as they saw fit., and that culture began at the top with Zucker and Gollust,” the letter said.
“As long as Zucker and Gollust believed CNN’s ratings would benefit, they were more than willing to disregard breaches of traditional journalistic standards by CNN personalities, such as Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, or even to engage in blatant breaches of journalistic ethics themselves. There is no better example of this than Zucker and Gollust making an exception to the CNN rule to direct Cuomo to interview his brother several times over the course of three months,” it said.
“Before Cuomo was terminated, Zucker at first claimed that he had been unaware of Cuomo’s discussions with Gov. Cuomo’s aides, when Zucker had done the same thing himself,” it said. “After Cuomo’s termination, Zucker claimed that Cuomo had broken his word and that Cuomo misrepresented the extent of his support for his brother. Other CNN staff joined in the calculated campaign to smear Cuomo and destroy his reputation. Jake Tapper, a CNN anchor, publicly assailed Cuomo’s ethics as a journalist and falsely claimed that Cuomo “threatened” Zucker. Don Lemon, another CNN anchor, falsely claimed that Cuomo had been “found to break with those journalistic standards and then [was] paid handsomely for it.”