Chris Cuomo tapped to host prime-time show on NewsNation

Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo has been hired by startup cable network NewsNation to host a show in primetime this fall.

Cuomo on Tuesday evening appeared as a guest on Dan Abrams’s prime-time show on NewsNation, his first television appearance since being fired by CNN, just before the outlet announced his hiring. Cuomo discussed with Abrams his new role of him at the network and spoke on the scandal that led to his firing of him last year.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been a victim of anything ever in my life. … I don’t feel sorry for myself,” Cuomo told Abrams. “You make choices. You make a choice to be in this business. You make a choice to be in that dynamic and to want to be relevant. And it’s not always going to be easy. It’s not always going to be fair.”

CNN suspended and then fired Cuomo in December, parting ways with its top-rated prime-time anchor after he was found to have misled executives at the cable news giant about his contacts with aides to his brother Andrew Cuomo and journalists covering the sexual harassment scandal that led to the former New York governor’s resignation.

“I never contacted any media who were covering my brother to try to affect their coverage,” Cuomo told Abrams on Monday. “I talk to people in the media all the time. They’re most of the people in my life.”

Cuomo’s firing also came just days after CNN reportedly received a letter from an attorney for a woman claiming the anchor had sexually assaulted her years ago.

Cuomo has denied those allegations and in March hit CNN with a $125 million difficult arbitration claim, with his attorneys arguing in a filing that his “journalistic integrity” had been “unjustifiably smeared” as a result of the firing, “making it if not impossible for Cuomo to find similar work in the future.”

“None of this happened,” Cuomo said when pressed by Abrams about the woman’s allegation. “This will be part of the litigation. I denied it. I am concerned about giving attention to stories. I am concerned about distracting from what’s supposed to matter to people. All I can do is deny the allegations.”

The scandal involving Cuomo ultimately led to the ouster of former CNN President Jeff Zucker in February after the outlet’s parent company Warner Bros. Discovery conducted an internal investigation that found Zucker had violated the company’s professional and personal conduct policies.

“As for CNN, I’ll never be a hater,” Cuomo said last week on the first episode of a new podcast he recently launched dubbed “The Chris Cuomo Project.” “CNN has great people. CNN has a great purpose. And I wish them all the best. And I miss so many of the people there. But it’s time for me to move on.”

NewsNation, which features a weekday morning news show and a slate of prime-time host-driven commentary and analysis programs, was recently launched by Nexstar Media Group, a company that owns and operates dozens of local television stations across the country.

Nexstar Media Group also owns The Hill, which it purchased last summer.

Pledging a commitment to providing what it has said in promotional materials will be more balanced news coverage compared to the other more highly rated cable news channels, the network has in recent months hired a slew of talent from other networks and national media companies, including Washington Post columnist George Will and former top Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt.

Last May, NewsNation hired Michael Corn, the former senior executive producer of ABC News’s “Good Morning America,” as its president of news. Cuomo previously worked at ABC as an anchor of its weekday morning program before joining CNN in 2014. Abrams is currently chief legal analyst for ABC.

In announcing Cuomo’s hiring, Sean Compton, Nexstar Media Inc.’s president of networks, said the former CNN anchor would “further our efforts to continue to ensure fairness and transparency in our news reporting and talk shows.”

“NewsNation believes in the work I am doing with the Chris Cuomo Project and I look forward to building something special here – covering news wherever it happens and having conversations that cater to common concerns and solutions rather than political parties or the political circus,” Cuomo said in a statement issued through the network.

“I had decided that I can’t go back to what people see as the big game. I don’t think I can make a difference there. I think we need insurgent media. We need outlets that aren’t fringe and just trying to fill their pockets … I’m going to do the job,” Cuomo told Abrams on Tuesday. “I’m going to go where the news is and I’m going to try very hard to be fair and I want to do it here.

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