MSNBC is afraid it’s broken news.
While most cable networks were on a high alert on Wednesday following the terrorism and shooting in New York City, MSNBC’s Chris Cuomo was absent from a regular half-hour program in order to attend to what his network described as “personal business.”
Cuomo, who has been sidelined since early on the morning of Nov. 6, appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” the same morning to tell Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski that he’d been placed on an extended leave, but “it’s not a suspension. It’s a necessary amount of time to take care of personal business in terms of my own family and personal life.”
At no point during his appearance did Cuomo disclose what he had to clear up, but on an editorial page of The New York Times on Wednesday, as well as an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Cuomo admitted that his absence was due to an affair that he had with a subordinate at his current job, where he works as a network contributor for CNN. Cuomo infamously referred to his public cheating as a “reproductive crisis” during a 2016 interview with Elle, although at the time he denied his new extramarital tryst was a “sexting disaster” as many suggested it might be.
On Wednesday, as Cuomo was discussing his new perameters for a wedding ring, the evening news on Fox ran an item about a stabbing incident in Central Park. Neither MSNBC nor Fox News made any mention of Cuomo’s absence or ban from his program.
MSNBC did not issue a statement, and a spokesperson declined to provide one. And when The Washington Examiner initially contacted MSNBC to inquire about Cuomo’s indefinite absence, a staff member said that the decision had been made, and that Cuomo was not coming back.
Tuesday’s bombshell report in The New York Times, in which Cuomo, who is 43 years old, admitted to a four-year affair with an ABC News producer at a time when he was married, led to a pattern of several network journalists being placed on leave over the past year.
Since the Tuesday news report, Cuomo issued a statement apologizing for the affair, saying that the media can affect “like a drug.”
“We should be aware of these things so it does not happen again. I am deeply sorry for having done that and I apologize,” he said.
Despite his admission that a “reproductive crisis” had occurred, Cuomo did not give any sign on Wednesday of stepping down from his position at CNN.
After the publication of the Times’ report, Cuomo was summoned to see CNN President Jeff Zucker, and he insisted he wanted to continue to be a contributor at the network, where he often appears as a “global” correspondent or provides analysis.
Zucker responded to Cuomo’s request by saying he needed to make the decision to return to the company.
Because most evening news programs stay on the air until 2 a.m. on the West Coast, these may not be the last of this story to come to light. Meanwhile, it is not known when Cuomo will return.
While Cuomo continues to be absent from “New Day,” his wife, ABC News correspondent Taryn Southern, is also taking over his spot.