Cuomo, who was fired from his CNN primetime show in December, also said that he had “learned lessons good and bad” since then.
“I’ve relied on my friends, my family, my therapist, and thankfully, it’s been the case that what doesn’t kill us, doesn’t make us stronger,” Cuomo said in an extended, 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.”
His pitch to viewers was that too much of the national conversation is being framed as left or right, especially in media, when the “extremes are not America’s majority.”
“I’m not 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.”
The approach to the show is in sync with NewsNation’s genesis: A neutral news outlet to counter other major cable news networks. But since its launch in 2020, NewsNation has drawn just a fraction of the viewers of CNN, MSNBC or Fox News, and it’s been adding names like Cuomo, Ashleigh Banfield and Dan Abrams to its nightly lineup.
Cuomo was abruptly fired by CNN in December after an outside law firm was retained to discover how much Cuomo aided his brother, former New York state governor Andrew Cuomo, when he was accused of sexual harassment. At the time, a spokesperson for Cuomo called his dismissal “unwarranted.”
In an interview with Abrams in July, Cuomo also denied allegations of sexual assault. Shortly after he was terminated, The New York Times reported that that allegations, brought to the attention of CNN management, involved a sexual assault claim by a junior colleague at another network.
Cuomo’s guests on the first show were former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, former National Security Adviser John Bolton and talk host Bill Maher. All are hardly unfamiliar to cable news viewers. But Cuomo suggested that the difference in his show will be in its focus. As an example, he said that after the media attention has shifted from the destruction of Hurricane Ian, 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.”