(The Center Square) – Jeff Zucker, president of CNN and the chairman of WarnerMedia’s news and sports division, resigned Wednesday after an affair with a colleague during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I came to CNN on January 28, 2013. Together, we had nine great years. I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently. But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute,” he wrote in a memo.
Zucker, 56, led the network for nine years and was one of the most powerful and influential media leaders.
“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 wrote in the 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 reported that Allison Gollust, the network’s chief marketing officer, was the person Zucker had the relationship with. She will remain with the company.
“Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years,” Gollust wrote in her own memo. “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.”
Zucker married Caryn Nathanson in 1996. They divorced in 2019. Gollust also is divorced, CNN reported.
Jason Kilar, the CEO of CNN parent WarnerMedia, said he accepted Zucker’s resignation.
“We thank Jeff for his contributions over the past 9 years,” he said in a memo. “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.”