Disgraced news anchor Chris Cuomo announced his return to television this Tuesday. Cuomo appeared on "Dan Abrams Live" to report that he will join the NewsNation network.
"I want to help. I want to find a way to help people," Cuomo told Abrams. "I'm going to come to NewsNation and I want to build something special here."
Currently, the small news network pulls in a fraction of the viewership that the anchor was accustomed to on his former CNN show, "Cuomo Prime Time." Once the network's highest-rated show, Cuomo's viewership took a dive last September, when his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, faced sexual harassment allegations.
Even with CNN no longer experiencing the booming popularity it once had, it continues to maintain over 700,000 viewers during prime time, whereas NewsNation is averaging 50,000 during the same period.
Given the smaller size of the network, rumors are swirling that Cuomo will be forced to accept a significantly lower salary. His former position with CNN shelled out $6 million yearly and provided a clothing allowance. Cuomo's contract with NewsNation is believed to be in the ballpark of $1 million and likely doesn't include any lavish perks.
A NewsNation rep revealed to the New York Post that several studios are currently being renovated, including a new space for Cuomo's upcoming show. In addition, the former producer for "The View," Dusty Cohen, has been hired as his executive producer.
The former anchor expressed his desire to make a difference and thinks "we need outlets that aren't fringe and just trying to fill their pockets."
CNN fired the discredited newscaster for journalism ethics violations and claims of sexual assault lodged by a temporary employee. The pressure to terminate Chris Cuomo's position had been mounting since Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced similar sexual harassment allegations that same year. The network accused Chris Cuomo of using his show to paint his brother in a more positive light, regardless of recent negative press.
Cuomo maintains that he committed no wrongdoing. Instead, he filed a wrongful termination suit against CNN seeking $125 million in damages. He accused multiple co-workers of defamation in the case, including reporters Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, and Brian Stelter.
If the new prime-time show boosts network ratings, the risk of hiring Cuomo despite his tarnished reputation might pay off for NewsNation.
Cuomo's show is set to premiere in the fall.