CNN has been rocked by yet another scandal, as Jake Tapper’s senior producer has left the network after “hooking up with a subordinate,” according to CNN Insider. The termination of Federico Quadrani, executive producer of “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” was originally reported by the New York Post and verified by two persons close to the issue.
According to a CNN insider, “complaints were made” regarding Quadrani, and last Wednesday, someone provided firsthand evidence of the inappropriate relationship to Tapper. The CNN anchor then went to human resources and notified bosses, and by Friday, his top producer had been sacked. According to the NY Post, Quadrani was Tapper’s “right hand guy” for a decade. Tapper joined CNN in 2013 after working for ABC News.
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Quadrani’s firing comes nearly a year after former CNN president Jeff Zucker was fired for failing to report his consensual relationship with Allison Gollust, another top CNN employee who left shortly after Zucker. CNN ultimately recognized that Zucker had breached standards and policies as well, but the connection was first blamed for the upheaval.
CNN employees are stunned that such a powerful producer could be so reckless, especially after the manner Zucker was thrown out for a similar offense. One CNN insider questioned how Quadrani “could be that ignorant.”
According to his LinkedIn page, Quadrani joined CNN in 2013 and is the creator and EP of “The Lead,” which airs daily afternoons. He joined CNN from MSNBC and previously worked for NBC News’ “Today” show, where Zucker was his boss. The long-time TV news veteran also worked for ABC News for six years.
Current CNN CEO Chris Licht has been on a crusade to free the network of the “spectacle” that plagued it under prior administration. He has parted company with CNN’s veteran senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, whom Zucker permitted to return even after his Zoom masturbation incident in 2020, and left-leaning White House reporter John Harwood.
Ratings problems have dogged Licht’s tenure, and he has tapped Tapper to fill the 9 p.m. position, which has been vacant for over a year, at least temporarily in the last weeks before the November midterm elections. While CNN publicly stated that Tapper’s transition into primetime was never supposed to be permanent, Licht apparently wanted Tapper to be the “new face” of the network. According to Tapper, claims that he was doing a “tryout” of sorts were false, and he never meant to do anything other than return to his daytime show.