West News Wire: Admitting to a consensual relationship with another network executive, CNN President Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned on Wednesday, ending a nine-year term at the helm of one of the country’s largest media firms.
When asked about the relationship as part of an inquiry into Chris Cuomo, the former CNN anchor who was fired when it was discovered that he assisted his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in navigating a sexual harassment investigation, Zucker claimed he acknowledged it.
“I was supposed to tell you about it when it started, but I didn’t,” Zucker wrote. “I made a mistake.”
While a permanent replacement is found, it was not immediately obvious who will lead CNN.
Chris Cuomo actively helped craft his his brother’s responses to sexual harassment charges, according to emails and a transcript of his testimony to investigators working for state Attorney General Letitia James. Her office found that Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women; the former governor resigned in August to avoid a likely impeachment trial.
In a statement Zucker said he wished that his tenure had ended differently but, “it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute.”
Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, acknowledged the relationship in a memo of her own.
“Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years. Recently, our relationship changed during COVID. 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,” she said.
Prior to joining CNN, Gollust served as communications director for Andrew Cuomo, according to a biography posted on the CNN website.
Zucker was named chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports in March 2019. He has also served as president of CNN Worldwide since 2013.
Zucker oversaw all of WarnerMedia’s live programming, including all divisions of CNN Worldwide and Turner Sports. At CNN, that includes the US television network, CNN International, HLN, and CNN’s digital properties. His sports portfolio includes Turner Sports, and Bleacher Report.