CNN parent company AT&T is mulling paying $9 million to former host Chris Cuomo as a settlement over his exit and rancorous feud with the network, the New York Post reports.
Cuomo, according to press reports, 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, then New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, over sexual harassment charges.
AT&T’s consideration of a settlement comes on the heels of CNN chief Jeff Zucker’s departure from the network after he failed to disclose a relationship with a female staff member.
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.”
CNN staff, including left-wing media critic Brian Stelter, has claimed Cuomo leaked the damaging relationship about Zucker to the press, forcing his resignation.
Stelter claims Cuomo’s jihad against CNN is an effort to “burn the place down” after his acrimonious departure.
Newsmax wires contributed to this report.
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