Anderson Cooper, a familiar face for CNN viewers since 2001, co-hosted a ‘town hall’ on the network devoted to news about coronavirus on Tuesday evening in the 9 p.m. slot typically anchored by Chris Cuomo, who was suspended for his role in defending his brother, New York disgraced former governor Andrew Cuomo.
‘Variety’ reports that Cooper, the most prominent gay news network journalist in America and son of the New York heiress and fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt, is likely to fill in for that hour for the rest of the week. It quoted a person familiar with the matter. Future programming for the part of the CNN schedule normally reserved for ‘Cuomo Prime Time’ is still being formulated, this person said to ‘Variety’.
CNN is devising new primetime plans in the wake of suspending Cuomo after revelations about his involvement in defending his brother while he grappled with allegations of sexual harassment that eventually forced him from office.
In documents released earlier this week by the New York Attorney General, the younger Cuomo described in messages how he was actively pursuing leads that could help portray his brother in a better light — a conflict of interest for any journalist regularly called upon to cover matters of national importance.
Cuomo, whose last appearance on air took place Monday evening, takes his leave as the network heads toward the holidays, a time when fill-in hosts often appear with greater frequency.
Michael Smerconish, an opinion host who leads his own programme on Saturday mornings for CNN, has filled in for Cuomo in the past, including during a recent week in August when Cuomo took a vacation while his brother faced calls to resign. At the time, CNN and Cuomo described the leave as something that had been previously scheduled.