CNN president Jeff Zucker giving Chris Cuomo no punishment was a classic move: To capitalize on some behind-the-scenes drama by turning it into programming
Zucker's decision to have Cuomo apologize on-air for giving advice to his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, instead of punishing him "tracked with CNN’s by now well-established policy of how to deal with the roiling, inherent conflict of the Cuomo brother dynamic — essentially by embracing it," explain The Washington Post's Sarah Ellison and Jeremy Barr. Cuomo, as they point out, leads CNN's No. 1 show. In fact, Cuomo Prime Time attracted more viewers in the coveted 25-to-54 demographic for the first three months of the year. Ellison and Barr report that Cuomo spent a day last week workshopping his apology, going through nearly 10 drafts before landing on a statement that cast himself as “family first, job second.” "The apology appeased some at CNN, who considered it heartfelt and unusual, given Cuomo’s typically aggressive style," report Ellison and Barr. "For others, 'it was a band-aid on a bullet hole,” as one on-air CNN personality called it.'" Meanwhile, during Tuesday's CNN town hall meeting, Zucker defended his decision not to suspend Cuomo. “I didn’t think taking him off the air for a week or two made any sense,” Zucker said. “It was more important to be honest and transparent. I’m not surprised Chris had conversations with his brother. Who wouldn’t? Where he screwed up was doing that in the presence of his brothers’ aides.” ALSO: The only reason Cuomo may be off the hook is because CNN is just as responsible for his infractions as he is.