CNN president Jeff Zucker resigns after admitting to relationship with co-worker

CNN president Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned Wednesday right after acknowledging a consensual romantic relationship with yet another network govt, which came to light throughout an investigation of now-fired anchor Chris Cuomo.

Zucker mentioned he admitted to the relationship when requested about it as part of the investigation into Cuomo, the former CNN anchor fired immediately after aiding his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in navigating a sexual harassment investigation.

“I was essential to disclose it when it commenced, but I didn’t,” Zucker wrote. “I was erroneous.”

Jason Kilar, CEO of WarnerMedia, explained to personnel in a memo that an interim leadership approach would be announced soon.

Zucker, 56, has been an field chief considering the fact that he was govt producer of the Today show in the 1990s. In the subsequent ten years, he ran NBC’s leisure division, where he was instrumental in placing Donald Trump on the actuality display The Apprentice.

Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice-president and main internet marketing officer, disclosed that she and Zucker, pictured with former U.S. president Donald Trump in October 2004, started owning a passionate relationship in the course of the pandemic. (Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

He rose to become chief of NBC Common and still left in 2010 when Comcast took about.

In a statement, Zucker stated he wished that his tenure at CNN had finished otherwise but, “it was an amazing run. And I loved every single minute.”

Allison Gollust says she regrets not disclosing romantic relationship

Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice-president and chief advertising officer, acknowledged the connection in a independent memo.

“Jeff and I have been close buddies and specialist associates for around 20 decades. Not long ago, our connection altered through COVID,” she said. “I regret that we failed to disclose it at the correct time. I am unbelievably happy of my time at CNN and glance forward to continuing the excellent work we do everyday.”

Prior to becoming a member of CNN, Gollust served as communications director for Andrew Cuomo, in accordance to a biography posted on the CNN web-site.Like Zucker, she worked at NBC Information prior to that.

Zucker’s connection arrived to mild all through the investigation into previous CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, who was fired right after it was unveiled he helped his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, craft responses to sexual harassment costs. Andrew Cuomo is pictured with Zucker, left, and actress Tina Fey in May 2008 in New York Metropolis. (Brad Barket/Getty Photographs)

Chris Cuomo actively assisted craft his his brother’s responses to sexual harassment prices, in accordance to e-mail and a transcript of his testimony to investigators operating for state Attorney General Letitia James. Her place of work identified Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at the very least 11 females. The previous governor resigned in August to steer clear of a likely impeachment demo.

Chris Cuomo’s lawyer, Bryan Freedman, did not instantly return a concept trying to get comment. Cuomo is reportedly seeking a settlement next his firing, and speculation that Zucker and Gollust’s marriage may well arrive up in these talks was lifted when Radaronline.com wrote a tale about the two very last month.

CNN streaming support in jeopardy

The news was fulfilled with shock inside of CNN, where Zucker was well preferred and recognized for jogging a limited ship. His major aides were being Gollust and Michael Bass, one more NBC Information veteran.

Experts stated Zucker’s resignation might have an impact on the approaching CNN+ streaming support, which has been building an intense energy to recruit big media names these types of as Chris Wallace of Fox News and NPR’s Audie Cornish. That services is envisioned to start in March.

“The timing of this departure is most likely about as unwell timed as you can get,” mentioned Tim Hanlon, CEO of media consultancy The Vertere Team. “CNN is producing up for a good deal of dropped time with the arrival of their streaming provider. The eyesight of CNN+ is pretty a lot in concern. It has Jeff Zucker’s hallmarks all about it.”

Zucker was named chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sporting activities in March 2019. He has also served as president of CNN Around the globe considering the fact that 2013.

Zucker oversaw all of WarnerMedia’s stay programming, which include all divisions of CNN Globally and Turner Athletics. At CNN, that includes the U.S. television community, CNN Global, HLN, and CNN’s electronic homes. His sporting activities portfolio contains Turner Sports, and Bleacher Report.

“The two of these corporations are at the best of their respective video games and are ready for the upcoming chapter,” Kilar stated in the memo to CNN employees.