The resignation of ex-CCN boss Jeff Zucker (56) hit the broadcaster like a bomb. The reason for the surprising departure is the discovery of Zucker’s love affair with manager Allison Gollust, who also works for the station. In a joint statement, the two claim that their romance began “during the pandemic” – but insiders say the spark between the media boss and the manager was much, much earlier – in 1996. As the “Rolling Stone magazine reports, Zucker was then a married producer on NBC’s “Today Show,” while Gollust was still an intern.
The spicy affair was brought to light by an insider, former CNN star Chris Cuomo (51). Cuomo was recently fired for actively helping his brother, ex-governor Andrew Cuomo (64), cover up a sex scandal of all things! After his resignation, Cuomo sued for his $18 million annual salary and threatened to reveal “internal secrets.” But Jeff Zucker was unimpressed and countered that he did not negotiate with “terrorists”. Cuomo didn’t let that sit, and let AT&T and Warner Media’s top executives through his lawyers align the juicy story of Zucker’s sex affair with a co-worker. This news ignited like a bomb – because the sex scandal and its consequences have a wide impact that goes far beyond Jeff Zucker’s personal fate. “Chris blew us up,” complained CNN’s White House reporter Kaitlan Collins (29).
The affair as the reason for the departure of Zucker, who is considered an excellent media maker, but for his rather critical line towards Donald Trump is now splitting the spirits and raising many questions about a possible intrigue and a possible realignment of the station. Because: The affair was an open secret within CNN, after the leak some wonder whether Zucker’s departure was really necessary in relation. Others insist on the strict policy, widespread in the USA, that employees are not allowed to have intimate contact with each other – especially not when it comes to supervisors and subordinates.
Others speculate that the leak of the affair was just a pretext for Zucker’s departure, which was desired and even planned by the owners of the broadcaster AT&T and Warner Media. There are indications of this.
CNN’s owner AT&T recently negotiated a merger of WarnerMedia (the Warner Media empire includes CNN, HBO and other large companies) with Discovery for $43 billion (37.5 billion euros). It is alleged that a key financial backer of ex-President Donald Trump, 75, and top Discovery shareholder, John Malone, insisted the deal would only go through if Jeff Zucker left. Zucker had been critical of Trump since Trump’s candidacy for the presidency.