Chris Cuomo is heading back to cable news this fall, hosting a primetime show for NewsNation in his first TV job since being fired by CNN last December.
Cuomo made the announcement Tuesday night on his new network, during an interview on Dan Abrams’ NewsNation show, Dan Abrams Live. It was the former CNN anchor’s first TV interview since his firing last December.
“I want to find a way to help people. I’m going to come to NewsNation and I want to build something special here,” Cuomo said. “I had decided that I can’t go back to what [networks] people see as the ‘big game.’ I don’t think I can make a difference there. I think we need insurgent media.”
As for why he’s coming to NewsNation, “I really believe that this outlet has a chance to reach who I call free agents,” Cuomo said. “Not right, not left, reasonable, regular, open mind, open heart, willing to listen when someone disagrees.”
Cuomo was fired by CNN on Dec. 4, after an outside law firm was hired by the network to review information about exactly how the host of Cuomo Primetime assisted his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, when the then-governor was accused of sexual misconduct.
CNN had indefinitely suspended Cuomo, the network’s top-rated host, days earlier after New York Attorney General Tish James released additional details—transcripts and exhibits—concerning Cuomo’s defense of his brother, amid the state’s investigation into allegations against the former governor.
“I am absolutely different than I was in November of this year,” Cuomo told Abrams, referring to his firing last December. “I’ve gone through things that I didn’t see coming, that I had to deal with, I’ve had to make decisions about how I want to be. A lot of people never have to confront that stuff. But I’ve made choices and I’m going to live those choices.”
“Chris joins our growing team of seasoned, award-winning journalists—and will further our efforts to continue to ensure fairness and transparency in our news reporting and talk shows,” said Sean Compton, Nexstar Media Inc.’s president of networks, in a statement.
The now-former CNN host previously said he wasn’t an official advisor to his brother—and that he was one of the people who encouraged him to resign the New York State governorship, in light of the sexual misconduct accusations.
The Cuomo investigation also ultimately led to the Feb. 2 resignation of Jeff Zucker, CNN president and WarnerMedia News and Sports chairman, after it was revealed that Zucker had failed to disclose his consensual romantic relationship with Allison Gollust, who was CNN’s evp, cmo and lead spokesperson. Gollust herself resigned two weeks later.
The former CNN host served the cable news network with a $125 million arbitration demand back in March.
In the arbitration demand filing, Cuomo has alleged his firing was unjustified and that Zucker did not abide by the terms of his contract by “future wages lost as a result of CNN’s efforts to destroy his reputation in violation of the Agreement.”
The $125 million includes “consequential damages” of $110 million, with the additional $15 million making up what Cuomo and his team says was due to him under his current contract.
Before stepping into an hour once held by Larry King, Cuomo served as co-host of the network’s morning show New Day from 2013-2018. He joined CNN in 2013 and was one of Jeff Zucker‘s first high-profile hires, after being named CNN Worldwide president. A trained attorney-turned-TV newser, Cuomo came to CNN from ABC News, where he had served as the network’s chief law and justice correspondent and co-anchor of 20/20.