Jeff Zucker out at CNN after failing to disclose ‘consensual relationship’ with colleague: ‘I was wrong’
‘I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t,’ Zucker said of the ‘consensual relationship’ in his memo
Embattled CNN boss Jeff Zucker walked away from the liberal network on Wednesday after failing to disclose a “consensual relationship” with a CNN staffer.
“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. 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,” Zucker wrote in a memo to staffers shared by CNN’s Brian Stelter.
“I came to CNN on January 28, 2013. Together, we had nine great years. I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently. But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute,” Zucker continued. “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.”
Stelter noted that CNN staffers were “stunned” by the sudden resignation.
Under Zucker, CNN has recently been plagued by scandals, embarrassing headlines and struggles to attract an audience, leading critics to wonder if he would be shown the door once a planned merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery is finalized later this year. However, the sudden resignation before the potential deal was finalized sent shock waves across the media industry.
Stelter indicated that Zucker’s relationship was with CNN marketing chief Allison Gollust, who the now-former CNN boss has long been speculated to have a relationship with. Gollust will remain at CNN, according to Stelter.
Gollust was appointed as former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s communications director in 2012 before bolting to join Zucker four months later at CNN. She became close to Zucker after a 15-year tenure at NBC before her work in the Cuomo administration and was once even floated as a candidate to eventually replace Zucker atop the liberal network.
Brian Flood is a media reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @briansflood.