Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, announced his resignation from the network on Wednesday after nine years following an investigation that revealed a relationship he had with a co-worker.
“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,” he said in a statement shared by CNN’s Brian Stelter. “I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong.”
In his statement, Zucker did not disclose the name of his co-worker, although CNN identified her as the network’s chief marketing officer, Allison Gollust.
“Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years,” Gollust said in a statement shared by CNN. “Recently, our relationship changed during COVID. I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time.”
Zucker began serving as CNN Worldwide president in 2013. Six years later, he was named chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports.
Jason Kilar, the CEO of CNN parent company WarnerMedia, said in an email Wednesday to CNN staff members that he had accepted Zucker’s resignation from both roles. He thanked Zucker for his contributions to the company.
In a subsequent email, Kilar said three senior executives will lead CNN until WarnerMedia completes a merger with Discovery: Michael Bass, Amy Entelis and Ken Jautz.
“I have full confidence that Michael, Amy and Ken, as interim heads for News, will provide the leadership this organization needs during this time of transition,” Kilar said, according to CNN.
Before joining CNN, Zucker spent more than two decades at NBC Universal, including five years -- from 2007 to 2011 -- as the company’s president and CEO. He has been credited with revamping CNN’s programming, raising the network to become the most-used digital news outlet in the world, according to the company.
In December, CNN fired Cuomo -- then the network’s top-rated anchor -- amid allegations that he had breached journalistic ethics to help his older brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as the elder Cuomo faced allegations of sexual misconduct.
Network officials later said Chris Cuomo was also facing accusations of sexual misconduct himself. He had been with the network since 2013..
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