CNN parent company AT&T is considering paying recently-ousted host Chris Cuomo a $9 million settlement. According to reports from The New York Post, Cuomo is demanding the $18 million left in his CNN contract after he was fired by network executives citing his improper role in advising his brother Andrew Cuomo throughout his sexual misconduct scandal.
AT&T’s consideration of the “hush money” comes on the heels of CNN President Jeff Zucker’s sudden resignation after he failed to disclose a relationship with a CNN staffer.
The Post report suggests Zucker’s exit was part of an effort to keep a possible Cuomo lawsuit and new, damaging allegations against CNN and Zucker from coming to light.
The ex-CNN chief was named multiple times in a draft of a suit, which hasn’t been filed, the Post reports, citing sources.
The Post reported that “Zucker’s resignation came as part of an agreement hammered out with AT&T chief John Stankey, sources say. Under the agreement, Zucker would leave CNN without a fight and Stankey would settle with Cuomo, the sources said.”
The paper noted the quid pro quo: “That way, Cuomo’s potentially damaging additional accusations about Zucker would be kept from the public, these sources say.”
Brian Stelter has claimed Cuomo leaked the damaging relationship about Zucker to the press, forcing his resignation in an effort to “burn the place down” following his departure.