WASHINGTON: CNN president Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned on Wednesday for failing to disclose a romantic relationship with a colleague on the US cable tv community.
“I certainly wish my tenure here had ended differently,” Zucker stated in a message to the community’s staff. “But it was an amazing run. And I loved every minute.”
Zucker, 56, stated his resignation was efficient instantly.
As head of the cable community since 2013, Zucker was one of the highly effective media executives in the USA and a frequent goal of the ire of former president Donald Trump.
In his message, Zucker stated that as a part of an investigation right into a CNN anchor, he 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,” he stated. “I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong.”
CNN recognized the colleague as chief advertising and marketing officer Allison Gollust, who stated she would stay on the community.
“Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years,” Gollust stated in a press release printed by CNN.
“Recently, our relationship changed during Covid,” she stated. “I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time.
“I am extremely happy with my time at CNN and look ahead to persevering with the good work we do on a regular basis.”
Zucker and Gollust are both divorced, according to The New York Times.
Zucker joined CNN from NBC, where he served as president and chief executive officer of the NBC Universal Television Group.
While at NBC, Zucker launched the reality TV show “The Apprentice” that rocketed Trump to stardom.
The two fell out after New York real estate mogul entered politics and CNN became a favorite target of Trump’s diatribes against the media while in the White House.
In a statement published by CNN, Jason Kilar, the CEO of WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, said he will be “asserting an interim management plan shortly.”
“We thank Jeff for his contributions over the previous 9 years,” Kilar stated.
WarnerMedia is at present engaged in merger talks with Discovery Inc.