CNN’s Jeff Zucker Reportedly Can’t Count on Jake Tapper

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CNN can’t count on anchor Jake Tapper to fill the hole left by recently fired anchor Chris Cuomo, reported Vanity Fair on Tuesday.

Cuomo was fired on Saturday following reports that he was heavily involved in advising his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), to navigate allegations of sexual harassment against current and former state employees. Andrew Cuomo resigned in August. Earlier this year, Chris Cuomo said that he was advising his brother as a sibling, but was not transparent about how involved he was.

Cuomo had the highest-rated show on CNN and his departure leaves a gap at 9 p.m. that Tapper is reportedly uninterested in filling.

According to Vanity Fair’s Joe Pompeo:

Various names are being floated in the parlor games speculating about Cuomo’s successor, but I can pour a bit of cold water on at least one of them: Jake Tapper, who helms CNN’s 4 p.m. time slot and cohosts State of the Union on Sunday mornings, has told colleagues he does not want the 9 p.m. show, citing family time and his straight-news approach compared to the more perspective-driven style that viewers have come to expect in the hour.

Last week, after CNN had suspended Chris Cuomo pending an investigation, the network was reportedly alerted to an allegation of sexual harassment against him.  Prior to that allegation, CNN media reporter Brian Stelter had suggested on-air that Cuomo’s suspension might only last until January.

Lawyer Debra Katz contacted CNN on Dec. 1 to claim a sexual harassment allegation against Chris Cuomo, according to The New York Times. Katz, who represents former Andrew Cuomo aide Charlotte Bennett, told the Times the allegation against Chris Cuomo was “unrelated to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo matter.”

The sexual harassment allegation against the CNN host appeared to be the final straw, leading to his immediate termination.

“Based on the report we received regarding Chris’s conduct with his brother’s defense, we had cause to terminate,” a CNN spokesperson told The Times on Saturday. “When new allegations came to us this week, we took them seriously, and saw no reason to delay taking immediate action.”

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