Jeff Zucker—president of CNN—announced today that he was immediately resigning from the network after its investigation of former anchor Chris Cuomo led them to ask about Zucker’s relationships. CNN fired Cuomo in December after learning that he aided his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in handling claims of sexual harassment.
CNN reporter Brian Stelter shared Zucker’s resignation announcement, in which the former CEO of NBCUniversal wrote that he had a consensual relationship with his “closest colleague” that had “evolved” but he hadn’t told the company about it.
“I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a I result, I am resigning today.” Zucker wrote, adding, “Together, we had a great nine years. I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently. But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute.”
Zucker did not name the colleague with whom he has a relationship, but Stelter reported that the colleague is Allison Gollust, the company’s chief marketing officer and executive vice president, who will remain at CNN.
In a statement of her own obtained by Jezebel, Gollust wrote: “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.”
While the relationship was consensual, it is unethical that the pair didn’t tell the company.
Reactions from high-profile CNN employees have varied. Host S.E. Cupp wrote on Twitter that she was “stunned,” while host Alisyn Camerota reportedly said on air that Zucker’s departure was “regrettable” and that “these are two consenting adults who are both executives. That they can’t have a private relationship, this feels wrong.”
Katie Couric, who worked with Zucker at NBC, wrote in her recent memoir Going There that he tried very hard to bring Gollust on board at the Today show, which puzzled Couric. She said that Gollust and her family even moved into the apartment directly above Zucker and his wife. Couric wrote that “everyone who heard about the cozy arrangement thought it was super strange.”
The Cuomo connections don’t end at the internal investigation of Chris. Jimmy Vielkind of the Wall Street Journal noted that Governor Cuomo once hired Gollust as a communications director.
Jezebel has reached out to CNN and Gollust for further comment.
This is a breaking news post and will be updated.