CNN's Cooper shoots down rumors: 'silly gossip and sour grapes'

Michael Calderone

Anderson Cooper says he’s “very happy at CNN.” Big-time television anchors don’t usually have to make such reassurances to staff, but these are uncertain times at the network.

Cooper’s the only prime-time host on CNN who hasn’t recently announced an upcoming departure, with both Campbell Brown and Larry King on the way out. Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker will host an unnamed—just don’t call it “Crossfire 2”—discussion show at 8 p.m., with King’s successor at 9 p.m. still unconfirmed. (But if you trust the British press and Simon Cowell, it’ll be journalist and reality star Piers Morgan).

Now there are rumors of instability at 10 p.m., as well.

The Wrap’s Hunter Walker, citing "multiple insiders," reported this week that “the silver-haired star anchor may also be close to leaving the network, frustrated by his own low ratings and tempted by other offers.” There's also conflict between Cooper and executive producer David Doss, according to the Hollywood and media site.

A network spokeswoman quickly shot down the report, saying that "CNN will continue to do great journalism and will leave meaningless conjecture to The Wrap." It didn't end there, though as other media and entertainment blogs picked up The Wrap's item.

So, as the industry blog TVNewer reported today, Cooper took to his CNN email account to reassure his staff.

“Just in case you happen to believe what you read on the internet from unnamed sources, I just want you to know I am very happy at CNN, have no plans to leave, and am not in conflict with anyone,” he wrote. “I am really proud of the work all of us are doing here in the Gulf, and all the other stuff just seems like silly gossip and sour grapes.”

Still, The Wrap stood by its story, and Walker described Cooper’s staff email as “a pretty transparent attempt at damage control.”

—Michael Calderone is the media reporter for Yahoo! News.