Jeff Zucker has resigned as president of CNN Worldwide.
It was revealed that the 56-year-old, who reshaped the network after taking over in 2013 when the network was “facing an identity crisis,” was stepping down from his position effective immediately on Wednesday, CNN reported.
Zucker told employees in a memo that his resignation was due to a “consensual relationship” he conducted with a colleague.
He wrote, referencing CNN’s Chris Cuomo’s recent termination amid sexual harassment allegations against his brother Andrew 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.
“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.”
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Although Zucker didn’t mention the name of the colleague in question, CNN claim it is Allison Gollust, the network’s chief marketing officer.
Gollust, who will remain at CNN, said in her own memo, “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.”
Staff members were said to have been “in shock” over the announcement.
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Jason Kilar, the CEO of CNN parent WarnerMedia, then said in an email, “I have accepted Jeff Zucker’s resignation as Chairman of WarnerMedia News and Sports, and President of CNN Worldwide. We thank Jeff for his contributions over the past 9 years.
“We will be announcing an interim leadership plan shortly. Both of these organizations are at the top of their respective games and are well prepared for their next chapters.”