On Wednesday, CNN president and chairman of WarnerMedia’s news and sports division Jeff Zucker resigned, admitting he had failed to inform CNN of his close relationship with Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, who just happened to serve as former New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo’s communications director in 2012.
Prior to that, Gollust served as the executive vice president of corporate communications at NBCUniversal, where Zucker then served as chief executor. Gollust released a statement on Wednesday claiming their “relationship changed during Covid,” as The New York Times reported:
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.
On January 4, RadarOnline reported after CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was fired:
Multiple sources have confirmed CNN President Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust, the cable giant’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, have been involved in a clandestine romance dating back years. “The talk in the corridors of CNN about Jeff and Allison’s purported relationship complicates the sticky decision to fire Chris,” said one highly placed source. “Have they sullied the network’s reputation? One could argue they have; it just hasn’t been made public yet.”
Allison Gollust, CNN exec tied to Gov. Cuomo, accused of being reason Chris gets a pass https://t.co/E05RMV3Pr1 pic.twitter.com/dMgl7cg1BY
— New York Post (@nypost) August 5, 2021
For a history of how CNN under Zucker fawned over Andrew Cuomo, including comments such as, “In the midst of a pandemic, Americans need real leadership — and the New York governor has risen to the occasion. In the face of a feckless, reckless president spreading disinformation by the day, Cuomo has stepped up, using his platform to share accurate public health information and demand action,” see here.
In her book “Going There,” Katie Couric discussed the relationship between Zucker, who was her executive producer at the “Today Show” and later her daytime talk show, and Gollust, writing: “At a certain point, Jeff made a huge push to bring on Allison Gollust. … They were joined at the hip. The problem was, we’d already hired a PR person for the show. There really wasn’t a role for Allison.”
“I had to wonder why Jeff was angling so hard to bring Allison on board,” Couric added, “She and her husband and kids had moved into the apartment right above Jeff and Caryn’s—everyone who heard about their cozy arrangement thought it was super strange. By that point, Caryn (Zucker’s ex-wife) had become a close friend and it made me really uncomfortable.”
Former Fox News anchor and current podcast host Megyn Kelly commented, “Zucker’s relationship with Gollust went on for years, and what he did to keep her near him (as he kept advancing her up the line) will be even more stunning to the CNN news room.”
Zucker’s relationship with Gollust went on for years, and what he did to keep her near him (as he kept advancing her up the line) will be even more stunning to the CNN news room. https://t.co/STe578EX3W
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) February 2, 2022