The former executive producer of CNN’s top-rated “Cuomo Prime Time” parted ways with her job and “felt threatened” by Chris Cuomo, multiple sources have confirmed.
Melanie Buck produced Cuomo’s 9 p.m. program from April 2018 until March 2020 but left over “significant differences” with the host. According to a Fox News report, Buck wanted to “pursue more long-form interviews while Cuomo was set on pursuing more opinion programming,” citing an unnamed CNN insider. Eventually, the friction mounted to the point that Buck asked CNN President Jeffrey Zucker to transfer elsewhere, the source claimed.
“More than one source told us of Buck, ‘She felt threatened,’” reported Page Six.
The sources did not specify why they believe Buck felt threatened, nor did Buck address their claims in a statement to Page Six that confirmed the general outline of events.
“I spent two years as EP on Chris’ show and I’m proud to have led it to #1 at CNN,” she wrote. “We ultimately had significant differences, and I asked to leave the show. I have moved on and am looking forward to my latest role with CNN+.” The streaming platform announced that it had recruited Buck to act as executive producer of its morning programming.
The allegations come as another one of Cuomo’s former producers, Shelley Ross of ABC News, accused Cuomo of sexually harassing her.
CNN’s Cuomo “escaped accountability for advising former Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his sexual harassment scandal,” wrote Ross in a New York Times op-ed titled “Chris Cuomo Sexually Harassed Me. I Hope He’ll Use His Power to Make Change.”
During a going away party for a colleague, Chris “Cuomo entered the Upper West Side bar[,] walked toward me and greeted me with a strong bear hug while lowering one hand to firmly grab and squeeze the cheek of my buttock,” she wrote.
She said Cuomo told her, “with a kind of cocky arrogance,” that “I can do this now that you’re no longer my boss.” She recounted that she pushed him off, saying, “No you can’t.”
Cuomo allegedly later emailed her that “I am ashamed” of the interaction, asking her to “pass along my apology to your very good and noble husband.”
Ross said she did not see his message as a “sincere apology” and instead believed Cuomo was groping for “legal and moral coverage to evade accountability.”
“He’s no more enlightened today than he was then,” Ross later told Business Insider.
Janice Dean of Fox News added that Cuomo’s alleged actions seemed to indicate “a pattern of behavior.”
Despite the unfolding allegations, Cuomo has yet to suffer any ramifications at the network. A former CNN insider has confirmed that the 41-year-old cable network couched its internal rules in deliberate ambiguity, so it had the opportunity to apply them — or disregard them — selectively. “You won’t see any rules that are etched in stone so that a violation could be a firing offense,” Steve Holmes, who spent more than ten years at CNN before retiring from the network in 2019, told The Hill.
Cuomo has yet to address the latest allegations on his show, much as he avoided commenting on his involvement in his brother’s sexual harassment scandal for much of his time on the air. Brian Stelter also sidestepped the topic on Sunday’s episode of “Reliable Sources,” the CNN program dedicated to critiquing the media’s openness, integrity, and self-awareness.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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