CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin quits – as no-nonsense new boss works to repair broadcaster
Jeffrey Toobin, 62, announced Friday that he was leaving CNN, where he worked as a legal analyst
CNN lawyer Jeffrey Toobin announced Friday that he is leaving the network after 20 years, in a surprise tweet stating that he would not be returning after his vacation.
Toobin has insisted he made the decision to quit himself, but there is growing speculation that new boss Chris Licht has left the company.
The analyst was infamously caught masturbating during a Zoom conversation with colleagues at New Yorker magazine, only to be invited back by CNN’s disgraced ex-boss Jeff Zucker.
A source told DailyMail.com: “Chris is really focused on CNN turning a corner. He really listens to what people want and is not driven by ego.
“He’s bringing CNN back downtown, he’s done away with the ridiculous breaking news cut-ins and graphics that drove everyone crazy, and he knows no one will shed a tear over Toobin’s departure, especially the women of CNN.
Toobin was famously fired by The New Yorker in November 2020, after 27 years, when he was caught on camera masturbating during a Zoom conversation with colleagues. He claimed he didn’t know his webcam was still on when he started pleasuring himself.
CNN’s new boss Chris Licht is currently working to revive the scandal-stricken network
CNN suspended him for eight months before welcoming him back — much to the anger of many on the network.
Toobin said he had decided to leave, but some within the company saw it as part of a broader move by new boss Chris Licht to clean up the network after scandals involving anchor Chris Cuomo and company president Jeff Zucker , were involved.
The source added: ‘He just needs to fix by 9pm. We all hope the talented and underrated Dana Bash gets that slot.
“If you want a neutral journalist to appeal to both sides, he should bring Dana in.”
The 9 p.m. slot was previously owned by Chris Cuomo, who saw his Cuomo Prime Time show canceled in late November after anchor was suspended and then fired for helping his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, while he was charged with sexual harassment.
Since November, CNN has been testing several potential replacements for the 9 p.m. show, including Jim Acosta, Laura Coates, Michael Smerconish, and Sarah Sidner.
Toobin appeared on shows across the network and on Friday said he would miss his CNN colleagues.
CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin returned to air in June 2021 after an eight-month suspension
“Friends, I’ve decided that after 20 years I’m leaving @CNN after my vacation,” he tweeted.
“It was great to spend my last day in the air with friends Wolf, Anderson and Don. I love all my former colleagues.
“Looking forward to my next book, about the Oklahoma City bombing, 2023 by @simonandschuster.”
Toobin’s return to CNN a year ago, in June 2021, was accompanied by a fawning interview in which he fawningly apologized to his colleagues for his “deeply moronic” behavior and said he was “incredibly grateful” to be back on the air. .
“I’m sorry for the people who were on Zoom,” he said in his first interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.
When asked if he had thought about what it was like to be on the receiving end of the Zoom call, Toobin said, “They were shocked and horrified.
“I think they realized this wasn’t for them. I think they realized this was something I would immediately regret, and I certainly did.
“It was then, that day, that I started apologizing and that’s something I’ve tried to continue to do, both publicly and privately.”
Toobin exposed himself to his New Yorker colleagues and masturbated during the Zoom call in October as they prepared for their election coverage.
He still insists he thought he muted himself during the Zoom call and was no longer visible.
‘Of course I didn’t think very well, or very much, and it was something that was inexplicable to me.
“I wouldn’t say in defense, because there’s nothing in my defense, but I didn’t think I was on the phone. I didn’t think other people could see me. I thought I disabled the Zoom call,” he said.
“That’s not a defense, this was deeply moronic and indefensible, but that’s part of the story.”
Toobin went on to say he had spent “seven miserable months” off-air “trying to become a better person.”
He added that he had been in therapy and spent time volunteering.
“I’m trying to become that person again that people can trust,” he said.
Toobin was first welcomed by CNN for a fawning interview with Alisyn Camerota, in which he fawningly apologized to his colleagues.
On his first appearance back on the air, Toobin apologized to his wife Amy McIntosh and his three children
About the New Yorker’s decision to fire him, Toobin said he found the sentence “excessive.”
‘I am a flawed person who makes mistakes. There is no defense for my behavior. The only problem is what the consequences should be.
The New Yorker made one decision about the fallout, CNN made another. I’m not going to come up here and try to split hairs and come up with justifications.
“It was wrong, it was stupid and I’m trying to be a better person.
“I’m incredibly grateful to CNN for taking me back.”
Toobin had been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1993 before being fired over the Zoom incident.
He has been a CNN contributor since 2002.
He famously wrote about the OJ Simpson lawsuit for the New Yorker in the 1990s and later wrote a book about his coverage that became the basis of the 2016 TV show The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story.
Before joining the New Yorker, Toobin had worked as an Assistant United States Attorney in Brooklyn and is a Harvard graduate.