Embattled CNN host Chris Cuomo has lost significant female viewers over the course of 2021 amid a series of scandals, including being accused of sexual harassment himself after famously advising his brother on how to fend off similar allegations.
"Cuomo Prime Time" averaged 1.7 million female viewers during the jam-packed news month of January. Through the first week of October, Cuomo’s show shed a staggering 75 percent of female viewers who tuned in during the first month of 2021.
In February, Cuomo’s show averaged 1.1 million female viewers. That same month, CNN declared it would re-impose a rule that Cuomo couldn’t cover his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, after lifting it for a series of widely panned interviews at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A few weeks later on March 1, as sexual harassment charges began to mount against then-Gov. Cuomo on top of his other political crises, Cuomo acknowledged the elephant in the room at the top of his show, saying he knew "what is going on" with his brother but could not cover it due to his conflict of interest. Following Cuomo’s admission to viewers that he was aware of allegations against his big brother, "Cuomo Prime Time" dropped to 764,000 female viewers during the month of March.
Women continued to turn away in April, when "Cuomo Prime Time" averaged 661,000 female viewers.
In May, the show fell to an average female viewership of 540,000. Near the end of the month, the Washington Post reported CNN’s Cuomo joined conference calls with top aides to the embattled governor as charges of harassment mounted and prompted calls from both sides of the aisle for his resignation.
CNN acknowledged Cuomo's involvement but said he would not be disciplined for his conduct. Women continued to shy away, as "Cuomo Prime Time" averaged 480,000 female viewers in June.
A slight uptick occurred in July, when the show averaged 509,000 female viewers, but it has declined every month since.
On August 3, the CNN host was named in a state investigation as a member of a team of outside, loyal confidants to Gov. Cuomo who contributed to a culture allowing the governor's "sexually harassing conduct" to "flourish."
Cuomo even drafted a response for his brother to the allegations against him on Feb. 28, according to the report. That email came one day before Cuomo told CNN viewers he "obviously" couldn't cover his brother objectively.
The report also found Gov. Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal law and fostered a toxic, abusive workplace culture. That evening, Chris Cuomo ignored the news on his show, sticking to his new policy of not covering his brother. After his nightly handoff to CNN's Don Lemon, the latter immediately led the show with the harassment report.
CNN’s Cuomo took a "long-planned vacation" that coincided with his brother resigning amid the sexual misconduct claims. The "Cuomo Prime Time" namesake returned on Aug. 16 and somberly addressed the situation on air.
The August drama resulted in only 489,000 female viewers tuning in on a nightly basis and the averaged dropped to 478,000 in September.
On Sept. 24, CNN’s Cuomo was accused of sexual harassment himself when Shelley Ross, a former ABC producer, wrote in the New York Times that Cuomo squeezed her buttock while hugging her at a party in 2005. She produced an email where Cuomo appeared to admit to the incident and apologize, although he said he had no negative or sexual intent.
Notably, Cuomo asked her to pass along an apology to her husband before telling her he was sorry.
"Cuomo Prime Time" averaged 439,000 female viewers during the first week of October. Women have fled every month in 2021, with the exception of July, and the show lost 39% of year-to-date female viewers from the day Ross came forward through the first week of October.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.