CNN President Jeff Zucker announced his resignation Wednesday after revealing that he had a relationship with a senior network executive.
"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. I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn't. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today," Zucker wrote in a memo to network colleagues.
Zucker, who took over CNN in 2013, makes his exit at a crucial time for CNN's parent company, WarnerMedia, which is in the process of merging with Discovery. The news network also is gearing up for launch of a new streaming service, CNN+, in the Spring.
Zucker did not name his colleague. But CNN reports that Allison Gollust, the network's chief marketing officer and an EVP, revealed in her own memo that she is the person in question and that she is expected to remain with the network.
"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 wrote, according to the CNN report.
Cuomo was fired by CNN after it was discovered he aided his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to deal with a sexual harassment investigation. He actively helped craft his brother’s responses to the charges, according to emails and a transcript of his testimony to investigators working for New York State Attorney General Letitia James.
This report contains material from Reuters and The Associated Press.
Gollust previously was Gov. Cuomo's communications director.
In a memo to colleagues, Zucker said he wished his nine-year leadership of CNN "has ended differently....I came to CNN on January 28, 2013. Together, we had nine great years."
Discovery, DISCA, with a market cap of $13.7 billion, was trading at $27.42 a share at 12:15 p.m. EST, virtually unchanged from its market open of $27.17.
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