NewsNation to Add Former CNN Anchor Chris Cuomo to Primetime Lineup in Fall

NewsNation, the nascent Chicago-based cable news network, will add former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo to its primetime lineup this fall.

Tuesday night’s announcement from Cuomo, who appeared as a guest on the network’s “Dan Abrams Live,” brings star power and some baggage to NewsNation, which has yet to build a significant audience since launching almost two years.

Cuomo, 51, a longtime host of CNN’s prime-time primetime show, was fired in December for allegedly violating the network’s standards by advising his brother, then-New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, while navigating sexual harassment allegations. In March, Cuomo filed an arbitration lawsuit against CNN, seeking $125 million in damages for alleged wrongful termination.

While Cuomo declined to discuss the litigation against CNN Tuesday night — his first national interview since being fired — he defended the substance of his high-profile case against his former employer.

“There are a lot of facts that I think are going to come out,” Cuomo said. “I never lied and there were no secrets.”

A staple on CNN for nearly a decade, Cuomo joined the cable network in 2013 as co-host of the morning show “New Day,” switching to “Cuomo Prime Time” in 2018, which became the highest-rated show on CNN evening programming. . Before that, Cuomo, a lawyer, was a co-anchor of ABC’s “20/20” and a senior legal correspondent for ABC News. He started at ABC in 2006 as a news anchor on “Good Morning America” ​​and previously worked at Fox News.

The time slot for Cuomo’s new hour-long show on NewsNation has yet to be revealed. While NewsNation’s main studios are in Chicago, Cuomo will broadcast his show from New York, where Abrams also does his show.

In a letter to employees Tuesday night, Michael Corn, NewsNation’s news president, called Cuomo’s hiring “a huge step forward as we become a world-class 24-hour news channel during the next year”.

In the letter, obtained by the Tribune, Corn announced that Cuomo’s show will be helmed by veteran executive producer Alexandra “Dusty” Cohen, who spent 20 years on ABC’s “The View,” which she helped launch.

Corn, a longtime executive producer for ABC News, left the network in April 2021, joining NewsNation the following month amid allegations that he sexually assaulted “at least” two female employees during his 18 years as a producer on rise in ABC. A lawsuit brought by a former producer of ABC’s “Good Morning America” ​​against Corn was fired last month by a New York judge who ruled that the statute of limitations had expired.

NewsNation, formerly WGN America, was reinvented as a cable news network in September 2020 under Dallas-based owner Nexstar Media Group. It bought WGN America in 2019 as part of its $4.1 billion acquisition of Chicago-based Tribune Media.

The network airs 11 hours of live news programming every day, with plans to run 24/7 by 2024. Corn has shook the lineup up in the air and expanded news programming from prime time to mornings, but NewsNation, which is committed to impartial reporting and tapping into more established cable news networks, is still struggling to grow its audience.

NewsNation, which reaches 75 million households, ranked 91st among all cable networks in prime time for the week ending July 17 with an average of 44,000 viewers, according to Nielsen.

Fox News ranked first in prime time with an average of nearly 2.2 million viewers, followed by MSNBC with 1.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen. CNN ranked 10th in prime time with 660,000 viewers.

Cuomo, who claimed in his arbitration suit that CNN’s “calculated efforts to pitch and feather him” made him “untouchable in the world of broadcast journalism,” welcomed the opportunity to return to primetime cable news, albeit with a smaller megaphone.

“I’ve decided I can’t go back to what people see as the big game,” Cuomo told Abrams on air Tuesday. “I don’t think I can make a difference there. I think we need insurgent media.”

NewsNation has 221 anchors, producers, editors and researchers working out of its newsroom inside the 61-year-old WGN-TV studios on West Bradley Place in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood. The network also leverages the resources of Nexstar’s 110 TV newsrooms and 5,500 journalists to provide coverage.

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