New York, NY – CNN President Jeff Zucker submitted his resignation on Wednesday after he got caught in an undisclosed relationship with a colleague during the network’s investigation of Chris Cuomo.
“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,” Zucker wrote in a memo to his CNN colleagues on Feb. 2 that was obtained by The New York Times.
“I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years,” he continued. “I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong.”
“As a result, I am resigning today,” wrote the network executive who also served as chairman of WarnerMedia’s news and sports division, according to The New York Times.
His girlfriend, CNN Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Allison Gollust, will remain at CNN.
“Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years,” Gollust wrote in a statement. “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 added.
Zucker and Gollust are both divorced, according to The New York Times.
CNN fired the “Cuomo Prime Time” host on Dec. 4, 2021 after initially suspending him for his role in aiding his brother in a sexual harassment scandal.
Cuomo was suspended after documents showed he was intimately involved in advising his brother, now-former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, when his sexual harassment scandal erupted.
CNN released a statement Saturday announcing Cuomo’s termination.
“Chris Cuomo was suspended earlier this week pending further evaluation of new information that came to light about his involvement with his brother’s defense. We retained a respected law firm to conduct the review, and have terminated him, effective immediately. While in the process of that review, additional information has come to light. Despite the termination, we will investigate as appropriate,” CNN’s statement said.
The New York Attorney General’s Office has released documents showed Chris Cuomo took a key role and participated in opposition research against his elder brother’s accusers, according to CNBC.
Zucker initially stood behind Chris Cuomo and defended him for months while the governor’s administration unraveled, The New York Times reported.
But he withdrew his support from the younger Cuomo when he found out the CNN news anchor was using his elevated position at the network to try to find out about other news outlets’ pending stories about his brother.
CNN was also notified of an allegation of sexual misconduct by Chris Cuomo that was made by a former junior colleague from a different network several days before they fired him, The New York Times reported.
Chris Cuomo has denied the allegation and is contesting the manner in which he was terminated by CNN.
CNN has refused to pay the former host severance or honor the rest of his current contract, according to The New York Times.
Zucker became a recognizable face for CNN when he started making television news appearance to combat President Donald Trump’s “fake news” assertions about the network.
Ironically, it was during Zucker’s prior 25-year tenure at NBCUniversal that he granted approval to make the “Celebrity Apprentice” reality show that gave former President Trump his national name recognition with viewers who would become his voters, The New York Times reported.
Zucker joined CNN in 2013 and most recently was heavily involved in the launch of the network’s new streaming service, CNN+.
“Together, we had nine great years,” Zucker wrote in the memo announcing his resignation. “I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently. But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute.”