CNN President Jeff Zucker Resigns Effective Immediately

Sophia Cooper, Staff Writer

Shortly after 11 a.m. Feb. 2 CNN employees were shocked when they received an email from CNN president Jeff Zucker. The email contained a memo notifying employees of his resignation due to a consensual relationship between himself and a coworker.

Zucker resigned effective immediately the morning of Feb. 2, 2022, Jeff Zucker had been at CNN for the past nine years and many employees have commented on his resignation. Variety quotes Don Lemon, a CNN late primetime anchor, “I am devastated,” Lemon told Variety in an interview. “I just think so highly of Jeff, and he is the best boss we have ever had, and one of the best things that has ever happened to CNN. There are probably going to be a lot of nervous people at CNN because Jeff is really the glue there.”

Zucker took over CNN in 2013 and took part in redoing the network’s programming. It was under Zucker that CNN adopted its slogan “Facts First”. According to the Washington Post, “In 2020, CNN recorded its largest audience since its founding in 1980, buoyed by coverage of the presidential campaign and the coronavirus pandemic” Zucker had planned to stay a little longer to see to if the transition goes smoothly. However, the CEO of CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia Jason Klair did not want that, in the meantime there will be three interim co-heads. Michael Bass, executive vice president of programming, Amy Entelis, executive vice president for talent and content development and Ken Jautz, also an executive vice president. Zucker’s departure is happening just as CNN is facing two challenges, the launching of CNN+ and searching for a new primetime anchor at 9 p.m. to replace Chris Cuomo.

This resignation took place less than two months after Chris Cuomo the brother of ex-New York governor Andrew Cuomo was released from CNN due to Cuomo inappropriately aiding his brother with his legal troubles. In the wake of the Cuomo incident there was an investigation into CNN and Chris Cuomo which is reportedly when Jeff Zucker’s relationship with a coworker was unveiled. CNN writes, “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 told employees in a memo. “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.”

CNN names the executive vice president and chief marketing officer at CNN, Allison Gollust, as the woman whom Zucker began a personal relationship with. Gollust did release a statement of her own however, unlike Zucker she plans to stay at CNN. Zucker and Gollust started to work together in 1998 at NBC. When Zucker arrived at CNN, Gollust was among his first hires. There have been many rumors of the relationship in the past.