Chris Cuomo‘s new NewsNation’s show, CUOMO, debuted on Monday with a promising change for viewers. Cuomo, who was fired from his CNN show in December, said his new nightly hour “won’t be typical,” adding that he’s “learned lessons good and bad” since his exit from the news network.
“I’ve relied on my friends, my family, my therapist, and thankfully, it’s been the case that what doesn’t kill us, does make us stronger,” Cuomo said in his 15-minute opener. “I’ve been humbled by what happened, but I am also hungry to do better in a way that I have never done before. So this show is going to be different from what I have done in the past because I’m different.”
Cuomo also said that he “won’t follow the pack,” telling viewers that too much of the national conversation, especially in media, is being labeled as left or right — something he said doesn’t represent the majority in America.
“I’m not here to follow the pack. I’m here to expose the game. When you see it, I’m going to say it, and I am going to show you, this is why things get covered this way. This is what this move means by the left. This is what this means by the right. And I believe that we can focus on common ground with our leaders here and the collective will to find solutions,” Cuomo continued.
While opening the show, Cuomo told viewers his past led him to this moment.
“Shakespeare wrote in The Tempest, that the past is prologue, meaning all that has happened before led to this moment,” he said. “And it is with me being here with you tonight.”
Cuomo’s promised down-the-middle approach is at the heart of what NewsNation aims to be for viewers: a news outlet to counter other major cable news networks.
The premiere comes after in July, Cuomo announced that he was joining NewsNation’s prime-time line-up this fall. Cuomo revealed the news during a sit-down chat with NewsNation’s Dan Abrams Live, where he discussed his new role with the Nexstar Media Group’s cable network.
“I want to help. I want to find a way to help people. I’m going to come to NewsNation, and I want to build something special here,” Cuomo said at the time. “We’re really hungry to make a difference in ways that I think matter.”
“I have decided that I can’t go back to what people see as ‘the big game.’ I don’t think I can make a difference there,” he shared. “I think we need insurgent media. I think we need outlets that aren’t fringe and just trying to fill their pockets.”
Cuomo’s departure from CNN came after he was suspended when documents surfaced that indicated he may have used his sources as a journalist and media personality to assist in helping his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, build a legal defense against multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.
In his interview with Abrams in July, Cuomo maintained his position. “I never contacted any media who were covering my brother to try to affect their coverage,” he said at the time. “I talk to people in the media all the time. They’re most of the people in my life.” He also denied any allegations of sexual misconduct which came to light shortly after his firing from CNN.
Cuomo’s first guests were former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, former National Security Adviser John Bolton, talk host Bill Maher and Dan Rather. Speaking on Hurricane Ian, Cuomo said rather than talking about the destruction the hurricane has caused, the show would focus on residents’ struggles with insurance claims.
“We will be there, and I will stay on that. Most won’t, but this show is not going to be typical,” he insisted. He also made clear that while he’s going to look at both sides, it’s not a “50-50 split.”
“You got to look at both sides, but it doesn’t mean that it’s a 50-50 split,” he said while discussing the topic of democracy with his guests. “In politics what you ignore you often empower. And the right has made a mistake in its silence for too long. Our election was not stolen. Your Republican leaders know this.”
CUOMO will air weeknights at 8 p.m. ET on NewsNation.