CNN chair Jeff Zucker resigned on Wednesday following the disclosure that he was having a relationship with another senior executive at the news organization.
In a memo to staff obtained by the New York Times, Zucker said he was in a consensual relationship with his “closest colleague” and had failed to disclose it, as required by company policy.
The colleague is Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice-president and chief marketing officer. Gollust and Zucker have worked together for 20 years.
The relationship came to light during the network’s investigation into the conduct of Chris Cuomo, the CNN anchor fired for trying to help his brother, the former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, fight accusations of sexual misconduct. Zucker wrote:
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.
Zucker, 56, also stepped down as chair of WarnerMedia’s news and sports division.
Meanwhile, Gollust said she was remaining in her role at CNN. In a statement obtained by the Times, Gollust said:
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 every day.
Both Zucker and Gollust are divorced.
Zucker’s resignation is effective immediately.
More: The Guardian