CNN president Jeff Zucker resigned over relationship with colleague
CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker announced he has resigned effective immediately because he failed to disclose his relationship with a colleague
CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker on Tuesday announced that he has resigned from his position effective immediately, CNN reported.
- “As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s tenure at CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years,” Zucker said in an internal memo.
- “I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today.”
According to The Associated Press, it is unclear who will be a permanent replacement for Zucker.
While the memo didn’t state who his colleague was, CNN reported that it was Allison Gollust, “his key lieutenant for the last two decades.”
- Gollust in a statement said, “Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years. Recently, our relationship changed during COVID. I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time. I’m incredibly proud of my time at CNN and look forward to continuing the great work we do everyday.”
Jason Kilar, CEO of CNN’s parent WarnerMedia, in a statement to employees, said, “We thank Jeff for his contributions over the past 9 years,” according to CNBC.
- “We will be announcing an interim leadership plan shortly,” Kilar said.
Veteran journalist Katie Couric, in her latest memoir, wrote about Gollust and her then-husband moving into an apartment above Zucker and his then-wife, per the report.
- Gollust worked as a senior publicist for NBC’s “Today” show where Couric was a host.
- “I had to wonder why Jeff was angling so hard to bring Allison on board. She and her husband and kids had moved into the apartment right above Jeff and Caryn’s — everyone who heard about their cozy arrangement thought it was super strange,” Couric wrote.
- “By that point, Caryn (Zucker’s ex-wife) had become a close friend and it made me really uncomfortable.”
CNN’s tough year continues
- In November last year, a report revealed that former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo had used media contacts to help brother and then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his scandal. Chris Cuomo was suspended and ultimately fired by Zucker.
- Following that, in December, former CNN producer Rick Saleeby faced a criminal investigation over allegations involving “potential juvenile” victims.
- John Griffin, another CNN producer of eight years, was charged with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to sexually abuse underage girls earlier that year, according to the Deseret News.