Jeff Zucker Resigns From CNN
From The Daily Caller By DYLAN HOUSMAN February 02, 2022
CNN President Jeff Zucker announced his resignation to staff Wednesday morning, according to a memo shared by media reporter Brian Stelter.
Zucker wrote to his employees that he was resigning due to a “consensual relationship with my closest colleague” that he was “required to disclose” at the time it began but didn’t. He said he was asked about the relationship as a part of CNN’s investigation into the conduct of Chris Cuomo.
Stelter revealed the relationship to be with CNN chief marketing officer Allison Gollust. Gollust previously served as the communications director for former Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She said in a statement that the two became romantically involved during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zucker said that relationship “evolved in recent years,” which he acknowledged. Chris Cuomo was let go by CNN in December for his involvement in helping cover up sexual assault allegations against his brother, Andrew Cuomo.
Zucker took over as CNN president in 2013.
“I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years,” he wrote. “I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today.”
Gollust, who previously worked as former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s communications director, released a statement confirming the relationship.
“Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years. Recently our relationship changed during COVID,” said Gollust, who is staying with the network.“
“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.”
Rumors about Zucker and Gollust’s affair have been circulating in the media world for at least five years but the pair have repeatedly, and vehemently, denied they were in a relationship when asked numerous times by Page Six.
Gollust denied the affair as recently as last month and even went as far as to say Page Six was “sexist” for suggesting she was having an affair with her boss.
Meanwhile, CNN insiders say they are stunned by Gollust’s latest statement, including one who called her comments “a bold faced lie.”
“Their relationship ended both of their marriages, everybody knows that,” the insider dished.
Another insider said Chris Cuomo is the reason why Zucker had to resign.
“Cuomo is suing CNN for a settlement, and his lawyers have argued that Zucker and Gollust’s relationship is improper and they should not have been able to decide on the fate of his career,” the source said.“
“Once CNN’s lawyers were told of this, Zucker’s fate was sealed.”
An attorney for Chris Cuomo didn’t immediately return a request for comment. But a lawyer for Cuomo previously denied that they were attempting to extort or threaten Zucker by leaking details of his affair with Gollust.
Zucker’s departure throws the network into even more turmoil less than two months after he fired Cuomo.
The anchor was axed after it was revealed he helped his brother, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, strategize on how to combat sexual harassment allegations leveled by a slew of staffers and former aides. Cuomo, who Gollust briefly worked for in Albany, has denied all the allegations against him.
CNN has also been plagued by poor ratings, particularly after the November 2020 presidential elections.
The network’s ratings dipped by a whopping 90 percent in early January compared to the same period a year ago, when it drew record viewership during its coverage of the January 6 riots at the US Capitol.
According to her bio, Gollust heads CNN’s PR teams stationed in New York, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
She joined CNN in 2013 after a stint at NBC, where she and Zucker worked together for 15 years.
Prior to helming CNN, Zucker was the showrunner for NBC’s morning ratings juggernaut “Today” show.
In 2017, Zucker and Gollust were seen engaging in a heated exchange at a party attended by several other media executives in New York City.
“It looked like she was reprimanding her husband or something,” one executive who attended the party said.
Zucker wrote in his memo to colleagues that he wished his tenure with CNN “had ended differently.”
“But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute,” he wrote.“
“I am grateful to the thousands of incredibly talented CNN and Turner Sports employees who helped make this such a joy for me and such. A success for all of us. I wish each of you nothing but the best in the years ahead.“