CNN President Jeff Zucker resigns after relationship with colleague

CNN President Jeff Zucker resigned abruptly on Wednesday, saying he had been engaged in a consensual relationship with a colleague that he didn’t disclose.

“I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years,” Zucker wrote in a memo sent to company staff, obtained by POLITICO. “I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong.”

Though Zucker did not name the woman with whom he was having an affair, Allison Gollust, chief marketing officer at CNN, put out a separate statement acknowledging her role in it and confirming it was consensual. Gollust was briefly an aide to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned in August 2021 amid a flood of sexual harassment allegations. Months after Cuomo’s resignation, his brother Chris Cuomo was fired from CNN after it emerged he had privately helped the then-governor navigate the fallout of those charges.

In his memo, Zucker said he was asked about his relationship during an investigation into Chris Cuomo’s conduct. Two sources with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly said that Cuomo’s legal team, which continues to negotiate his exit from the network, raised issues about the relationship between Zucker and Gollust. Cuomo’s legal team asserted that Zucker was hypocritical to suggest Cuomo had a personal conflict of interest when the relationship with Gollust represented a potential conflict as well.

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