Updated: Feb 2, 2022
On Wednesday, Jeff Zucker announced his resignation as CNN Worldwide President. Zucker explained his reasoning in an email sent to all staffers, "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."
He did not disclose the name of who he had a relationship with, however, his resignation comes soon after reports ran in tabloids saying he has been dating Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.
In a statement, Gollust said she plans to continue her work at the company; “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 to do the great work we do every day.”
Fox news reported that Zuckers exit brings an end to a tenure that saw CNN take a partisan turn in 2015 at the rise of president Donald Trump. In the same years Zucker held his position, CNN had weakened ratings.
Trump shared his thoughts showing how gleeful he was to hear the news. “Jeff Zucker, a world-class sleazebag who has headed ratings and real-news-challenged CNN for far too long, has been terminated for numerous reasons, but predominantly because CNN has lost its way with viewers and everybody else," Trump said.
While Zucker was in his position, CNN lost viewership. In the past 12 months, CNN has lost three-quarters of its audience.
With an average of 493,000 viewers, this marked a 74% drop compared to last year.
“I came to CNN on January 28, 2013. Together, we had nine great years. I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently,” Zucker said.
One of Zucker's final moves as CNN Worldwide President, was firing CNN anchor Chris Cuomo after revelations of his involvement in his brothers private and public defenses against sexual harassment allegations.
According to a tweet by CNN’s media correspondent, Brian Stelter, Jason Kilar, CEO of CNN parent company Time Warner, announced interim co-heads for CNN following Zucker’s departure.