ABC News veteran and chief legal correspondent Chris Cuomo is leaving his “20/20” co-host gig to join Jeff Zucker‘s new team at CNN.The news network confirmed the rumours with a press release from Zucker, stating:
“Chris is an accomplished anchor who is already an established name in morning television, as well as a widely respected investigative journalist. What I love about Chris is that he is passionate about every story he tells, never forgets about the viewer, and represents the type of journalism that makes CNN great.”
Cuomo also released a statement of his own:
“This is a fantastic opportunity to do what I value the most and hopefully to do the work that I do best. While it’s very difficult to leave ABC News, a place filled with people I have loved working with for many years, I am excited about my future with CNN.”
Cuomo, the brother of New York governor Andrew and the son of ex-governor Mario “will have a major role in a new CNN morning show and across the network, anchoring and reporting on major events,” reads the release.
And according to a NY Post insider, Zucker was eyeing Cuomo and has been “looking for an anchor he can basically make the centrepiece of the network.”
“Look, Jeff has this brand he has to respect and grow but he’s walked into a situation where he could change out every single talent on his network right now, everything and everyone is up for grabs and he’s going to start with the morning show,” a person with close knowledge of the situation at CNN tells Deadline. “Frankly he wants to upgrade things and he has a wish list and Cuomo fits into that perfectly.”
Cuomo, 42, served as the news anchor on “Good Morning America” from 2006-2009 before moving to co-host “20/20” alongside Elizabeth Vargas and act as the ABC News Chief Legal Correspondent.
Zucker has already poached ABC’s senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper, and there have been rampant rumours he wants to add NBC’s Ann Curry to his new CNN line up.
But NBC is reportedly insisting that Curry stay off the air for six months in exchange for releasing her from her contract and TMZ claims “reports that Zucker is courting Curry to be the next CNN star couldn’t be further from the truth.”
“Ann has been sainted because of what happened to her [on ‘Today’],” a source told TMZ. “The fact is … she definitely can’t carry a prime time show.”
But just last month, it was reported Zucker wanted Curry to replace Anderson Cooper in his prime 8 p.m. time slot.
Read the official CNN press release announcing Cuomo’s new position below: