More On: Jeff Zucker
Chris Cuomo isn't backing down in his struggle with CNN following the dismissal of his boss, Jeff Zucker - according to insiders, the anchor plans to demand a $60 million compensation.
According to multiple sources, Cuomo, who was fired in December for assisting his brother in defending himself against sexual harassment allegations, is ready to dig his heels in by claiming that Zucker not only knew about his dealings with the governor — but that the network boss had inappropriate dealings with Andrew as well.
And he is willing to seek more than the $18 million remaining on his deal, maybe up to $60 million.
"He wants money from Megyn Kelly," we're informed.
According to one source, "Chris says he never done anything for his brother Andrew that Zucker was unaware of."
"Zucker's camp claims he was not fired because of an improper connection with Allison Gollust." Nobody cared since everyone was aware of it.
"What he feels happened is that WarnerMedia discovered something in their investigation of Chris, maybe internal memos or papers, that exposed more about Zucker's relationship with Andrew Cuomo." "Gollust was only a handy excuse."
"Chris wants to fight for every dollar on his contract, as well as the loss of money from the 15 to 20 years he has remaining in his career, if Zucker hadn't organized a 'f–k-job' on him." He might seek for up to $80 million, but CNN would not pay that. But there's a case to be made that he may seek for as much as $60 million."
"Chris is telling people in the Hamptons that he was wrongfully dismissed, humiliated, his career has been damaged, and he wants Megyn Kelly money," a second source told Page Six.
(In 2019, Kelly received a $69 million settlement from NBC as a result of the media storm that erupted when she defended blackface on her show.)
The Washington Post previously claimed that, in the early days of the epidemic, when Andrew Cuomo became a national hero because to his daily news conferences, Zucker personally guaranteed that Andrew appeared on Chris' prime time show on a regular basis, since the siblings were fantastic TV.
According to sources, Zucker even "coached Andrew Cuomo [on] what to say in his news conferences, particularly how to respond to President Donald Trump." He told him when, where, and what to say. If Andrew appeared on other networks, he would be scolded.
"When this all comes out, it will put a stop to CNN's huge weep fest over Zucker's dismissal."
In the Zucker scandal, Cuomo has emerged as the villain within CNN. When WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar met with employees in Washington, DC on Friday, Jake Tapper said Cuomo is a "terrorist" who didn't get the compensation he wanted, so he set fire to the premises. "How can we overcome the notion that the evil guy is winning?" According to New York Times writer Michael M. Grynbaum, Tapper inquired.
On Monday, CNN personnel in New York asked Kilar for further information about Zucker's resignation, as well as whether Chris Cuomo would receive a severance payout.
Don Lemon, a former close friend of Chris, questioned the Wall Street Journal, "Did you consider about what message that sends to the journalists in the firm and also to the greater public that someone can be discovered to transgress those journalistic standards and then get rewarded well for it?"
Cuomo retained a counsel after being dismissed by CNN in December following an investigation into his attempts to assist his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in responding to sexual harassment charges.
While Zucker previously stated that CNN would not give Chris any severance money, Kilar has been considerably more circumspect on the topic, stating that he would not comment on personnel concerns.
Erin Burnett said that they wanted more information on Zucker's departure. "We're in mourning," she remarked, according to the WSJ. "Moving further will necessitate solutions to these questions."
According to the WSJ, Alisyn Camerota continued, "I believe what you're hearing, and what we're all feeling, is just a big shockwave to all of our mental health."
"It's been really disruptive and upsetting." Understanding is one of the secrets to mental wellness, and having some answers and closure is one way to achieve it. And we don't have any of that. "We don't see why the death penalty was required."
Some individuals believe that now that Jeff Zucker has left, Cuomo has lost the power he formerly had over CNN.
Insiders in Chris Cuomo's camp, however, refer to the "litigation hold" letter his attorney Bryan Freedman sent to CNN and WarnerMedia general counsel the day after Chris was sacked.
The letter makes no mention of Zucker's relationship with Gollust, but it does ask CNN employees to keep any papers relating to the former governor's probe and "any appearance by Andrew Cuomo" on Chris' show, which he did more than a dozen times.
They intend to compel the release of material that might establish Andrew Cuomo's purported intimate links to Zucker.
A representative for Zucker was not available for comment on Tuesday, but he previously stated that the idea that he granted Andrew Cuomo special treatment and coaching for his COVID news appearances was "100% incorrect." CNN and every other network broadcast live briefings during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic when people were yearning for information.
"Jeff, of course, had a relationship with Andrew Cuomo, as he does with a plethora of other government officials."
When Cuomo files his arbitration claim, legal sources say CNN's main defense witness will be Zucker, who does not have to attend in court and is unlikely to do so.
"Will WarnerMedia just settle to make this all go away ahead of the merger?" the first insider said. Or will it risk additional humiliating records and facts being revealed as a result of Cuomo's legal action?"
Chris Cuomo's lawyer and Andrew Cuomo's spokeswoman did not respond. WarnerMedia representatives did not respond.