NewsNation, the fledgling cable TV network that hired Chris Cuomo, recently fired a correspondent who complained about the broadcast of a Donald Trump rally, The Post has learned.
Paul Gerke — a New York-based correspondent at the ratings-challenged news channel — griped to news president Michael Corn late last month on a conference call with other journalists after NewsNation aired two hours of uninterrupted coverage of a Trump rally, insiders said.
The conference call became tense as Gerke repeatedly pressed Corn over NewsNation’s “mission” as a news organization, arguing that while NewsNation “advertises” itself as being “unbiased,” it aired the rally without analysis or corrections from network anchors, according to a source familiar with the call.
“Gerke just kept at it, asking what the mission is,” the source said, adding, “Corn doesn’t like to be pushed or questioned.”
“Michael got pissed,” the source added, with Corn telling Gerke “he could leave.”
Gerke — an Emmy-winning news anchor who had most recently done a stint at an NBC News show for the now-defunct short-form video app Quibi — was let go days after the tussle, sources said.
“As a matter of company policy, and in compliance with federal and state privacy laws, we do not comment on any employee’s status with the company,” a rep from NewsNation said.
Gerke did not respond to requests for comment.
Conflict over NewsNation’s direction isn’t new at the struggling network, which has made prominent hires from both ends of the political spectrum since it was launched in March 2021.
Nexstar, the corporate parent of the channel, previously known as WGN America, tapped former Fox News executive Bill Shine as a consultant in the fall of 2021 to help with programming, sparking anxiety among left-leaning staffers, sources said.
At the time, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook assured employees in a town hall meeting that the network would be “centrist.” Some staffers griped to the New York Times that a NewsNation anchor gave President Trump a softball interview. Vice president of news Jennifer Lyons and news director Sandy Pudar resigned.
Meanwhile, NewsNation has since assembled a trio of left-leaning primetime hosts in Chris Cuomo, Dan Abrams and Ashleigh Banfield, with all having done stints at ABC News and CNN.
“NewsNation is a young network trying to find its footing,” a person familiar with the inner workings of the network said, adding that there is still a sensitivity to appearing biased on hot-button issues. “Bias in reporting is so subjective. It’s rarely black and white.”