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Cory Ellison is the forward-thinking President of the News Division at UBA.

History[]

Mitch's Firing and Bradley's First Week[]

Early in the morning one day, the New York Times reported on a leaked story that there was an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment perpetrated by Mitch Kessler, co-host of The Morning Show on UBA. When Alex learned of the news, she was set up on a call with Fred and Cory. They had to figure out what they were going to do about that day's show. Alex insisted that she would address their viewers herself, with no one in Mitch's seat. They could discuss a replacement for Mitch later.

As they watched Alex's broadcast, Cory and Fred agreed that she was doing well. Cory was mobbed by reporters as he left the studio and told them behavior like Mitch's would not be tolerated during his tenure and out of respect for the victims, he wouldn't be saying any more.

Cory met with Chip about the future of The Morning Show. Cory thought maybe it was time to replace Alex as well, as he felt like her heart wasn't in it anymore and that way they could find America's new couple at the same time. After watching Alex interview Bradley, Cory called Bradley and asked to meet with her to talk about her future. When she asked if this was her big break, he said that was up to her.[1]

At this meeting, Cory asked Bradley to consider becoming a field correspondent for TMS. He arranged a meeting for her with Chip to talk about it more.

Cory then met with Fred, who asked him about Alex's new deal. Cory said they were close, but Alex wouldn't sign without co-host approval. He promised he was handling it, but Fred asked for a list of names to replace her.

Cory then told Chip about his meeting with Bradley and touted Bradley's strengths.

Cory then attended an awards show, where Alex was being honored for leadership in journalism. He showed Bradley to her seat and she was shocked to be seated at the same table as Alex. Cory told Chip Bradley was there to be a wake-up call for Alex. Alex figured out what he was doing and said she wouldn't sign without co-host approval. When he said she wouldn't get it, she said she'd walk and he told her to go ahead and do that. As she accept her award, Alex shocked Cory and everyone else by announcing Bradley as her new co-host.[2]

As people started to react to the news, Fred told Cory to get both Alex and Bradley back to the studio and not let them make any statements before that. Cory confronted Alex, but she ignored him and left the event. Cory then stopped Maggie from talking to Bradley about the announcement, saying everyone could find out more by tuning in on Monday. Cory then congratulated Bradley and said her life had just taken off. He warned her not to talk to anyone and to meet him at the studio.

Cory first met with Fred, who was angry at Cory for not immediately refuting Alex's statement. Cory said that Alex had done them a favor as the show had been stale for a while. Alex thinks she's won, but the spike in ratings from a new face will allow them to fire Alex. He asked Fred for a month and Fred agreed, but said Cory had to take the fall if it failed.

Cory then met with the staff, who all had questions. Cory told them to cheer up and lied that they'd been quietly vetting Bradley for a while. He defended Bradley as a great choice for the show and instructed the staff to help get ready for her debut. He was impressed by Bradley's screen tests, but not by her wardrobe, so he took her to Barney's with a $30,000 budget for new clothes. While she tried on clothes, he encouraged her to get a better agent because hers was preparing to sign for a figure that was way too low. He wanted her to get paid what she was worth.[3]

Cory watched Bradley's first show and said it looked bland. When Bradley went off-script and started telling the truth about her life, Cory was invigorated. After the show was over, Cory met with Fred, who was angry at what Bradley had done, but Cory didn't see an issue with it. He told Fred that half the country hated Bradley, but the other half loved her and if they censored her, the half that loved her would bury them. Despite the controversy, he believed Bradley would save the show.

Cory then met with Bradley and told her she was doing well, even though she thought she wasn't.

On the day of Bradley's interview with Ashley Brown, one of Mitch's victims, Cory came to the set of TMS and watched from backstage. When Bradley went off script and Chip said to cut her off, Cory ordered Mia not to do that. After it was over, Cory told Chip the interview was excellent and he looked forward to the rest of the show.[4]

NYT Story and Alex's Party[]

As they prepared for the release of a story in the New York Times about TMS and Mitch Kessler, Cory and the other network executives met and talked about the story and tried to get information about how it would affect the network. The NYT refused to give details unless Fred agreed to give them a quote. When they learned the contents of the article, they offered to give them a juicy story in exchange for them dropping a damning quote.

The night the story came out, Cory went to a fundraising party at Alex's place. When Alex refused to speak to him, Cory paid to go on stage and sing. He chose a duet and pulled Alex on stage to sing Not While I'm Around with him.

When he went home after the party, he found Bradley at the front desk of their hotel trying to get them to tell her what room Cory is in. Cory then took Bradley upstairs with him.[5]

Wildfires and Pilot Season[]

The next morning, Cory was still in Bradley's hotel room waiting for her to wake up. He got a call from Fred saying he wanted TMS to go to California to cover the wildfires there, so Cory promised to make that happen. Cory then woke Bradley up with music and breakfast. He told her she would be going to LA to cover the fires, which she thought was good becuase boots on the ground was her strength. He said he was also going to LA for pilot season.

Cory watched a pilot. When it was finished, he said it didn't work. Kate reminded him that he'd greenlit the pilot and he used a baseball metaphor to explain that he'd done that to show her that television writing wasn't her thing.

Cory then met with Chip, who asked for protection and offered to help Cory get Fred's job in exchange for that. Cory said he didn't believe Fred would be out unless something came out specifically about him. Chip said he'd think about it. Later, he called Cory and said he was ready to talk.[6]

Bonding with Bradley and Plotting with Chip[]

Upon their return to New York, Cory met with Chip to get falafel together. Chip told Cory about some emails he'd gotten hold of which discussed some transfers, payoffs, and complaints. He wanted to start leaking the story out and see if he could get anyone to run with it. Cory said they had to wait until they had airtight evidence or Chip would only end up ruining himself.

Cory then met with Fred and some other executives. As the meeting ended, Fred said his office would be falling to setup an interview between Cory and Marlon Tate, who was up for executive producer at TMS. He said the investigation would be wrapping up soon and they had no idea what it would say, so they needed to be prepared. He made it clear that Marlon had the job, but Cory said that as head of news, he'd take that under advisement.

At the end of the day, Cory met Bradley in the elevator while he was leaving. He invited her to walk back to their building together and she accepted. Along the way, they talked about their jobs and he invited her to get a carriage ride with him. She declined, saying she had some things to settle first.[7]

Cory was in his office watching TMS when Maggie came in and asked him if he was plotting a corporate takeover. He denied that he was, but she told him that she had a source saying otherwise. She warned him not to try it becuase she owed Fred for giving her her start. That loyalty meant she would dig to make sure the story was absolutely true before reporting on Fred's inaction.

Cory went to Bradley's hotel room on her request and she told him that Mitch had contacted her and asked her to interview him on TMS. When Cory learned that Mitch had evidence that implicated Fred, he agreed to help her. She told him Alex wasn't on board, but he said that was because she was guilty. He said as long as she was prepared to give up the job that could give her a really nice life, she could do the interview.

Later, Cory got a call from Chip, who was angry with Cory. Cory calmly told him that he knew he was Maggie's source and if he wanted to save his head, he needed to meet Cory in his office in two hours. When they met, Cory and Bradley told Chip their plan to take Fred down. Chip was reluctant, but Cory and Bradley convinced him it was the best way to take Fred down. Chip was worried about it taking Alex down with it, but Cory said that he wasn't the only one meeting with Marlon Tate.[8]

Cory, Bradley, and Chip met with Mitch at Mitch's apartment. They talked about their plans for the interview and Cory said it had to happen as soon as possible, because if they waited too long, they wouldn't be able to do it. Bradley insisted that she needed to talk to Hannah first and wouldn't do it until she had.

When Chip was fired, Cory told Mitch the interview would still go forward. However, he warned Mitch not to mess with Bradley, saying that he could help Mitch get his second chance, but he wouldn't if he went on air and pretended to be an innocent victim. He needed to go and confess to what he'd done.

When Hannah died of an overdose, Bradley said she wouldn't do the interview and also told Cory she was done at TMS. He told her that she couldn't leave because she had evidence against the head of the company and couldn't stay pure by moving on. He encouraged her to stay and fight.

Later, during the broadcast, Alex struggled to speak and handed things over to Bradley as she walked off set. When Alex returned to her chair and began to report on Fred's actions, Marlon tried to get Donny to roll the pre-taped segments, but Cory told him not to do that. He and Mia then held Marlon back as he tried to force Donny's hand. They also locked the control room door to keep Fred out, allowing the broadcast to continue until the studio finally cut the feed.[9]

Upheaval at UBA[]

Immediately after Alex and Bradley's broadcast, Fred told Cory he was a dead man, but Cory believed Fred was instead. Despite this, he was shocked when the network fired him for hijacking the airways by allowing Bradley and Alex to continue and for locking Fred out of the control room. Contrarily, Fred was only placed on administrative leave and Cybil assured Cory he'd be fired as well if they found any proof to back up the accusations. Cory said that wouldn't happen as the only other person in the room, Hannah, was dead.

After his firing, Bradley pulled some strings and got his job back for him. Months later, an evening news anchor named Ray Marcus came under fire because word spread that he was creating a hostile work environment by harassing production assistants. Cory had his assistant help him start to do damage control.

Cory was insistent that he wanted to stay ahead of the news on Ray's firing so Bradley didn't find out from Twitter that Eric was moving from The Morning Show to the evening news. He also announced that he wanted to get Alex back and believed he could do it, despite Mia and Stella's opposition to the idea.

When she learned about the opening Ray would leave at the evening news, Bradley came to Cory to suggest herself as the replacement, unaware of the plan Cory had in the works. He tried to redirect her, saying she had something good with Alex and he needed her at The Morning Show, but Bradley didn't believe that as she and Alex only worked together for three weeks and she hadn't heard from Alex since she quit.

Cory then went to Maine to see Alex, who was living in a remote cabin there. He tried to talk her into returning, but she refused, even when he offered a lucrative new deal. He asked her to take a day to think about it, but she was adamant she wouldn't change her mind.

Cory met with Stella about potential replacements for Eric. She had a candidate selected, but Cory asked her to let him know before it was announced because he still hadn't told Bradley. However, as he rode toward the New Years Eve Extravaganza, he called Alex again to make a final plea for her to return. When she didn't answer, he left a message asking for her to call him back.

At the extravaganza, Bradley learned about Eric's transfer and confronted Cory about it. Cory defended himself, saying he had a difficult job and he was doing the best he could. As everyone counted down to midnight, Alex got Cory's message and called him back. He lied to her and said the deal with Eric's replacement fell through and he was in a bind. She agreed to come back to fill in until she was ready to debut her new primetime show. She asked him if she could trust him and he promised that she could. After he got off the phone with Alex, Cory called Stella and told her to kill the deal with Aaron. Just as he did so, he saw a report on the ticker that Hannah's family was suing UBA over her death.[10]

After the show was over, Bradley confronted Cory and he told her Alex was returning as her co-host. He told it would all work out, but she didn't believe him because he'd lied so many times. She then told him she thought she was getting sick and didn't think she'd be able to work the next morning.

Cory met with Richard, Mandy Schaeffer, and Gerald to discuss the lawsuit. Richard didn't believe they had a case and so didn't want to settle, but Cory told them to pay whatever the family asked for. It's the only way to make it go away. Mandy said they'd have to sign NDAs, but Gerald suggested not doing that as all the bad actors were gone anyway. Richard said there was kind of an NDA built in because Hannah couldn't talk. Because of that comment, Cory fired Richard on the spot and then ended the meeting, telling them to keep him updated on the settlement.

When Cory learned that Alex was at the studio, he and Stella rushed to find her and make sure her surprise return wasn't spoiled. They went to Alex's new office, where Alex and her agent, Doug, were waiting. He asked about Alex's primetime show, but she didn't know what she wanted to do for that yet. They also reminded Alex that they wanted her announcement to be a surprise and Cory invited her and Stella to have dinner with him at his place, just the three of them. After they left the meeting with Alex, Stella told Cory Mia should come to the dinner as well, so he said she could, but no one else. However, the dinner quickly grew to include Bradley, Daniel, Alison, Ty, and Yanko.

While he waited for all the guests to arrive, Cory got a call from Cybil who told him there were pictures of Bradley out having dinner despite not having come to work for days, which made them look like fools. Cybil told him to fire Bradley and he said he would. Instead, Cory went to Bradley and told her she was only making herself look bad, not sticking it to the network like she thought she was. He also told her that Alex's return would be good for everyone. He went back to the dinner and told Stella he didn't think Bradley was going to make it, but a few minutes later, she arrived.

Once everyone had arrived, they sat down to eat. They discussed the novel coronavirus that was killing people in China and the primary election. When the discussion shifted to the impeachment, Cory drew everyone's attention to him and toasted to Alex and Bradley and revealed the plan for her grand return, which included one-on-one interviews for each of them with Laura Peterson.

Cory later learned that Hannah's family wouldn't settle. They'd requested an amount they knew the network couldn't agree to: $119.2 million, the same amount given to Fred to get him out of the network. Cory recognized that it was a message that they wanted to go to trial.[11]

Alex's Return[]

Cory tried to get everyone excited about Alex's return, even having a trailer made promising big news on The Morning Show. After previewing the trailer with Mia, Stella, and Alex, Alex told them that she'd chosen Chip to be her producer, so Cory asked Stella to make that happen. The day the announcement was made, Stella told Cory the immediate response from Twitter was positive. Cory knew Stella wasn't excited about it, but told her she needed to get on board. When Bradley came to Cory demanding to moderate the debate in Las Vegas. Cory told her he didn't like the way she was talking to him and didn't answer on whether or not she could moderate the debate.

Cory went to the hotel when Alex was interviewed by Laura Peterson on her return to the show. He posed for pictures and told Laura she was a genius and would be able to get a lot from the four-hour interview. He also asked Laura to coach Bradley when she did Bradley's interview in Iowa. Alex was also interviewed by Laura and Cory was present as she was interviewed. Later, he watched the interview as it aired. While he was watching, his phone rang, but he ignored it when he saw that it was Fred.[12]

To surprise Alex on her first day back, Cory arranged to have The Foo Fighters play on The Morning Show.

As he ignored Fred's calls, Cory learned from Mitch that someone had launched a smear campaign against Hannah and he immediately knew it was Fred. Mitch asked Cory to take care of it and keep him out of it. Cory went to Earl and asked him to kill the story, but Earl told him it had spread too far and it was only a matter of time before someone published it.

Cory was shocked when Bradley came to him and apologized for how she'd been acting. Cory told her he was too old to have enemies and accept her apology, but said Alex was doing the debate and they couldn't use two straight white women, so she wouldn't be doing it.

When Stella confronted Cory about her not wanting Alex for anything despite Cory's love of her presence, Cory told Stella to make it work as he just needed to get them to the launch of UBA+ and was angry that he seemingly couldn't trust Stella to do anything.

Desperate to end the smear campaign against Hannah, Cory went to Cybil and asked for her help. Cybil made it clear that she didn't feel it was their responsibility. She also expressed doubts that Cory was the right choice for the job, as he'd made some questionable decisions.[13]

Cory went to Fred directly to try to get him to back out of smearing Hannah. Fred said it was Cory's fault for not trying to get the case dismissed when Fred asked. Cory then went to Bradley, asking for more information about Hannah, looking for something he could use to help her. Instead of going to Vegas, Cory went to Green Bay, where he met with Hannah's father. Cory warned him that Hannah's name was about to get dragged through the mud and he should take the money he'd been offered to settle. Mr. Shoenfeld replied that the money didn't mean anything to him because it couldn't bring Hannah back. He just wanted to understand why UBA would pay that much money to buy Fred out, but wouldn't pay him the same.

With Earl's help, Cory got the story killed at all but one outlet, The Vault, who were planning to publish as soon as the story was confirmed. The only thing that could kill it was a more salacious story. Cory then called Bradley. He'd recently heard she was in a secret relationship with Laura Peterson, but denied that it was true. When he heard Laura in the background of the call, he realized it was true after all. He then asked Bradley if he should do whatever he could to stop the story about Hannah from coming out. She said he should and said she'd look for ways to do that.[14]

Cory then had Earl call someone at The Vault and leak the story about two prominent media figures in a secret same-sex relationship. Earl promised it would be juicy.

Cory came to the set of The Morning Show when he got a call from Peter Bullard, who had been interviewed on the show and felt insulted by Daniel's questions. They also needed to settle the Alex thing. As her return date was unknown, they needed a replacement. Chip suggested Laura Peterson. Stella was sure she'd refuse, but Cory offered to call her right away and ask. He called and Laura agreed to replace Alex.

Cory was on set when the story from The Vault came out and everyone learned about Laura and Bradley's relationship. At the end of the day, Cory went to Bradley's place and told her she had the network's full support if she decided to sue or if she decided to say anything at all. Whatever she decided was okay as far as the network was concerned. She confessed to him that she was more concerned about her family's reaction than anyone else's.[15]

Mitch's Death[]

Cory was in a meeting with Gerald, Stella, and Linda when Gerald's assistant called with an urgent message. Gerald at first ignored it, but went to deal with it when the assistant called again. When he returned, he was on the phone with Luca Romano, an Italian reporter who asked him to comment on the death of Mitch Kessler. While Cory sent Stella to start trying to confirm the news, Gerald said the network had no comment. Cory wanted Alex to report the story if they were able to confirm it.

Gerald, Linda, Stella, and Cory met again to discuss how Mitch's death would affect Maggie's book. While they were talking, Stella got a call from Wendell, who had heard the news. He promised that it was TMS's story if they were able to verify it and shared what he'd heard.

Cory then found out that Alex was in Italy with Mitch and Chip was worried she was dead along with him. Cory called for Isabella to be brought to his office so they could work to track Alex down. They were able to find that she'd book a flight into Teterboro, so Chip went to meet the plane to see if she'd actually boarded. When Alex landed, she was able to get them the second confirmation they needed to report Mitch's death. Instead of Alex reporting it like Cory wanted, Bradley broke the news on TMS.[16]

Alex's Return[]

Prior to her first day back after her trip to Italy, Alex met with Cory, Doug, and Stella. Doug defended her right to take days off, as written into her contract. Cory ignored Doug and said that if Alex faced any backlash, they would defend her. When Alex said she was quitting the show and would be returning the money, Cory refused to let her, saying he'd only void her contract if she was racist or homophobic. After asking Stella and Doug to give them a minute alone, he told Alex he'd made a bet on her and wanted that to pay off. She was still insistent she was leaving and told Cory to do what he needed to do to protect the show and himself.

Cory then went on Peter Bullard's show to promote UBA+. When asked about Maggie's book, Cory said he wasn't concerned and publicly invited Maggie to come to UBA to be interviewed. When she accepted, he asked Bradley to do the interview, as he trusted her to be fair.[17]

UBA+ Launch, COVID, and Hal's Disappearance[]

Cory had a meeting where they discussed the UBA+ launch, particularly focusing on the rise of COVID. Cybil wanted him to postpone, but he was insistent that he wouldn't. Soon after that, Cory met with Glen and they talked about UBA+'s launch. Glen asked Cory to consider a six-month free trial, but Cory said that was too much. When he asked Kyle about his agenda for the rest of the day, Kyle said he just had a meeting with Paola Lambruschini, which Alex had set up. Cory said he didn't have time for that and asked Kyle to cancel it. Stella then came in and quietly wrote a note informing Cory that Alex had tested positive for COVID and reminding him that they let her return to work knowing she'd been in Italy. Once they were alone, they started talking about doing damage control.

Later, while he was leaving his hotel, Cory was approached by Chip, who pitched an idea to him about Alex going live to talk about her experience having COVID in the hopes it would get people to take it more seriously. Cory said they were trying to protect Alex by not announcing that she had COVID, but Chip said there was nothing to protect as things could only go up for her.

Cory asked Stella to clear an hour of primetime for Alex's broadcast, but she said they'd lose sponsors over it. Cory said they could put it on UBA+ instead, as they had no sponsors to lose that way. He wasn't worried about losing subscribers becuase no one had subscribed. Stella said she had subscribed.

Later, Kyle told Cory what he had left for the day. While they were talking, Paola came into his office, saying his assistant had been rude and demanding to meet with him, as promised. Kyle had said Cory was too busy and to call when she was back in New York, so she drove to New Jersey and then back. She brought a sample of her work with her. She told Cory she couldn't leave it with him and had to stay and watch it with him. She asked for just two minutes. Cory reluctantly sat down, but when he saw that it was a documentary about Mitch, filmed just days before his death, he ended up watching the entire thing. When it was over, Paola said she wanted a job. He tried to get her to sell the documentary, but she said she wouldn't betray Mitch as she owed him.

Cory then went home ot prepare for the UBA+ launch event. While he was there watching Alex's broadcast, he got a call informing him that Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson had COVID, which was scaring people. Peter Bullard was refusing to come to the launch and sporting events were being cancelled. Cory asked if it was safe to do the event and made the decision to shut down the event.

When Cory learned that Bradley's brother was missing, he went to her place and went out with her to hand out flyers and search the city. When she started feeling hopeless, Cory called her down. Bradley told her that Laura thought her family was crazy. Cory then confessed to Bradley that he loved her. He wasn't sure what that meant, but said he wanted it on record. There was tension between them until Bradley's phone rang. It was a nurse from a hospital saying they had someone who might be Hal. They went to the hospital, where Cory covered for Bradley while she slipped through a staff-only door and looked for Hal. As he waited for her, he saw a news report saying there were over 600 confirmed and presumptive cases in the US.[18]

Personality[]

He is a charming man. A staunch supporter of #MeToo, he helped Bradley and Alex take down Fred and UBA.

Relationships[]

Romantic[]

He was married but got divorced at some point.

Family[]

He has one son with his ex-wife. He is very close to his mother, whom he took care of after his dad left.

Friendships[]

Professional[]

Career[]

Cory is the forward-thinking President of the News Division at UBA.

In 2017, Cory was the newly hired President of The Entertainment Division at UBA. Fred branded him as "a good hire" and acknowledged he might have a future at UBA. Cory was seen to be singlehandedly responsible for the hit series on UBA at the time, "Late Bloomers", attracting the compliments of the previous Head of News at the time saying "Nobody would take the pitch, let alone put it on the air, but Cory. He takes risks."

He had only been President of News for one month when Mitch's history came to light.

Notes and Trivia[]

Gallery[]

Memorable Quotes[]

Appearances[]

References[]

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