CNN Head Jeff Zucker Resigns After Failing To Disclose Relationship With Colleague
Jeff Zucker has resigned as president of CNN, saying in a statement that he was doing so because he failed to share a “consensual relationship” with a colleague, also an executive at the network.
According to Zucker, the relationship came up during an internal investigation of Chris Cuomo‘s time at CNN after the anchor was fired for using his position to defend his brother Andrew Cuomo against sexual harassment allegations.
Zucker said that he has has a friendship with this colleague for decades, and, “I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when I began but I didn’t. I was wrong.”
The colleague was later revealed to be Allison Gollust, who is an executive vice president and chief marketing officer at the network. She said in her own statement that her and Zucker’s “relationship changed during Covid. I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time.” Gollust will be continuing in her position at the network.
Zucker and Gollust apparently first met while working at NBC, where Zucker also met his ex-wife Caryn Nathanson while she was an employee of Saturday Night Live.
This resignation ends a nine-year tenure for Zucker at CNN, where he was instrumental in developing their streaming service CNN+ and was a champion of Chris Cuomo’s who oversaw his rise to one of the most popular cable news anchors in the country. Zucker even defended Cuomo as his scandal became revealed.
He was expected to resign earlier this year, but that was initially pushed back when Discovery initiated talks to acquire CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia last year.
Zucker is a titan of the television industry, one of the only executives in the business recognizable by name to some. He began at NBC as a researcher for the 1988 Summer Olympics, and by 2000 he became head of NBC Entertainment. He oversaw hit shows that were brought to the network like Fear Factor, and the Donald Trump vehicle The Apprentice.