When Chris Cuomo announced last week that he was leaving his position as host of “New Day” and heading to CNN, the move received widespread criticism, with many wondering whether his contract had been canceled and whether he’d been fired. “I am leaving @siriusxm radio to go to CNN where I will host a new morning show,” he said in a tweet on June 12, “but first, I want to thank you guys for making New Day a hit.”
Rough day. However, a great day for @CNN, my family and all of you who made @NewDay a hit. I am leaving @siriusxm radio to go to CNN where I will host a new morning show. pic.twitter.com/CE4tmUu2GD — Chris Cuomo (@ChrisCuomo) June 12, 2018
Cuomo took to his own radio show on SiriusXM this week, and now we know why the newsman has left the network: two years into his contract with SiriusXM, he won’t be renewing it, he announced on the program, “Chris Cuomo and Alicia Menendez,” a Friday morning program.
“If you missed my tweet at the beginning of this show on Friday, it was the second tweet I did that was probably more expected than the one I did last week. And that was the reason I am not going to be hosting my show every single weekday on SiriusXM,” he said, referring to his Monday announcement that he was going to replace Chris Cuomo as the co-host of New Day with Tom Matzzie, to “replenish the CNN talent pool.”
Since then, some have speculated that Cuomo’s dismissal from the morning show had been forced upon him, and that it was related to his remarks about being “paralyzed” by his late father, Mario Cuomo, on the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. His father died in office in 1994.
Chris Cuomo, who spoke at last week’s vigil for Justice Ginsburg, was criticized by some on social media for not addressing or clarifying his reasons for leaving the morning show.
At Friday’s “Chris Cuomo and Alicia Menendez” program, Cuomo acknowledged that the coverage of his now-former show “had been something that was troubling for some folks,” and that he had “heard that it was a knee-jerk reaction to some of the things that I had said” about his father.
“I am trying,” he said, “to look at it from a bigger issue, the state of the press. The truth is, this is a tale of two generations in journalism. When I grew up, we had Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw. Those are some of the great journalists of our time. Those two men were really great. But now we’ve got somebody like Bill O’Reilly who basically should be in jail for breaking journalistic ethics. It would be a laughable question, would it not, if I were to ask, ‘What happened to the standards for the work of the news organizations? What happened to the way in which we framed the issues of our time, the controversies of our times? The tone of our times?’ Those questions should have been asked 30, 40, 50 years ago. And it’s because we’ve got trouble in the profession.”
He went on to describe himself as an “utter libertarian,” who “cries out for social media,” for example, to “allow people to express their point of view…free from the voice of the press as the arbiter of the important issues of the day,” and asked his listeners, who include both social media users and those who listened to his radio show on a more “traditional” level, “to be a little more open-minded” about the “issues of our time.”
The issue of journalistic ethics can be tough to address, he acknowledged, but also said, “We are in a discussion about government ethics… and an attack on free speech… and we’re talking about bias, we’re talking about betrayal of the public trust… we’re going through the age of Uber-ism. And I wish that we would be candid about where we are and where we want to go.”