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2 Feb, 2022 17:07

CNN president quits

Jeff Zucker failed to disclose romantic relationship with colleague that came up during Chris Cuomo probe
CNN president quits

Jeff Zucker announced his resignation as president of CNN and chairman of Warner Media’s news and sports division on Wednesday, after nine years at the cable channel’s helm. 

As the reason for his move, Zucker said that he failed to disclose in a timely manner a “consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years,” that he said “evolved in recent years.” 

According to the New York Times, the person in question is Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. Gollust said on Wednesday that she would remain at CNN.

“Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years,” she said in a statement. “Recently, our relationship changed during Covid. I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time.”

Gollust and Zucker’s relationship came up during the investigation into the CNN tenure of Chris Cuomo, the younger brother of the now-former New York governor, Andrew Cuomo. CNN fired Cuomo in December 2021, saying he inappropriately used his position at the network to help his brother defend charges of sexual harassment. Andrew Cuomo had resigned in August, dogged by the accusations which did not result in criminal charges.

“Together, we had nine great years,” Zucker said in a memo to CNN employees on Wednesday. “I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently. But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute.”

Zucker, 56, came to CNN in 2013. He previously worked at NBC Entertainment, where he green-lit the reality TV hit ‘The Apprentice’, starring real-estate mogul and future US President Donald Trump. Riding on that show’s success, among other things, Zucker was promoted to chief executive of NBC Universal in February 2007. Just three years later, in June 2010, Comcast offered him up to $40 million to resign, after acquiring the company.

One unnamed TV executive told the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd at the time that Zucker was “a case study in the most destructive media executive ever to exist” who had “taken a once-great network and literally destroyed it.”