CNN president Jeff Zucker resigned on Wednesday after he revealed he hid a romantic relationship with another senior executive at the network who was a former spokeswoman for disgraced ex-governor Andrew Cuomo (D., N.Y.).
Zucker admitted in a memo to an ongoing "consensual relationship" with Allison Gollust, who left Cuomo's office in 2013 to become senior vice president for communications at CNN. Zucker said he revealed the relationship "as part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo's tenure" but had failed to properly "disclose it when it began."
"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. "I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn't. I was wrong."
Gollust, who has been considered a replacement for Zucker, told the New York Times that the relationship had "changed during COVID" but said she "regret[ted] that we didn't disclose it at the right time."
Zucker has been president of CNN since 2013. After having produced The Apprentice, a hit show that contributed to Donald Trump's rise in the public eye, he oversaw the network's sensationalist coverage of Trump's presidency.
After President Joe Biden's inauguration, however, CNN's ratings have plummeted, which was worsened by two high-profile sexual misconduct allegations that involved former anchor Chris Cuomo, the brother of Andrew Cuomo, and legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.