Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, shocked the media world Wednesday with his sudden announcement that he was quitting the cable news network, effective immediately.
His announcement came less than two months after he personally fired top CNN anchor Chris Cuomo for improperly advising his brother, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, regarding how to address sexual misconduct allegations.
“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 told employees.
“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.”
“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,” said Zucker.
Although Zucker did not name his colleague, the relationship is with Allison Gollust, CNN’s marketing director who will stay at the network.
Gollust’s own statement indicated: “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 every day.”
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Radar Online reported it was Katie Couric’s memoir “Going There” which blew the whistle on the matter long before Wednesday’s resignation.
Couric, the former co-host of NBC’s “Today,” questioned how Gollust got her position at CNN.
“At a certain point, Jeff made a huge push to bring on Allison Gollust (to her daytime television show),” Couric wrote. Claiming they were “joined at the hip,” Couric said, “we’d already hired a PR person for the show. There really wasn’t a role for Allison.”
Couric says Zucker pushed on.
“I had to wonder why Jeff was angling so hard to bring Allison on board. 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,” she noted.
Radar Online reported: “Couric, who refused to hire Gollust, went on to lament being overlooked for a job at CNN despite pushing for Zucker to get the role of boss.”
“His first hire? Allison Gollust. Oh, and I never did hear from him about that job,” Couric stressed.
Some online reaction to Zucker’s bombshell includes:
- “Jeff Zucker is one of the most morally bankrupt people alive and one of the most responsible for the deterioration of political media. He chose to treat the existence of a multi-racial liberal democracy as less important than getting himself even more rich. Good f***ing riddance.”
- “What a total mess. feel sorry for all the quality news people. He botched Cuomo and helped put Trump on the map. Good riddance.”
- “A CNNer having an inappropriate sexual relationship? No one, especially at CNN should be ‘stunned.'”
- “Jeffery Toobin is the only person at CNN that keeps his hands to himself.”
Jeffery Toobin is the only person at CNN that keeps his hands to himself
— Dr. Ricardo (Pro-Representative Republic) Harambe (@Richard_Harambe) February 2, 2022
Zucker’s escapade, and its resulting consequences, are just the latest sex scandal to hit the beleaguered CNN organization.
Earlier names on the list include the high-profile names Jeffrey Toobin and Chris Cuomo.
Toobin, a legal analyst for the network, vanished from the air for a short time after he was caught masturbating during an online conference call.
He also was fired from his position at The New Yorker at the time.
The Western Journal noted when he returned that he was asked by a colleague, “What the hell were you thinking?”
Toobin’s reply? He is a “flawed” human and made a “deeply moronic and indefensible” mistake.
His colleague, Ana Navarro, stunningly excused him, with, “In this case, he was not sexually harassing anybody – he didn’t have the intent to harass somebody. He was sexually harassing himself, maybe.”
A veteran CNN producer, John Griffin, also was dismissed after allegedly using messaging apps to befriend and persuade mothers of young girls that he should be the one to “train” their daughters sexually.
That comes from an indictment released by the U.S. attorney for Vermont.
The 44-year-old allegedly got at least one mom of two daughters to bring one of her girls to his ski getaway.
Further, anchor Chris Cuomo was fired for advising his brother, the former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, during “an investigation into sex harassment claims. Andrew Cuomo left his office over those sex harassment claims.
And CNN anchor Don Lemon has been accused of sex harassment.
And, in fact, a report from the undercover journalists at Project Veritas documented allegations from an informant that yet another producer openly was fantasizing to others about sexual activity with young teen girls, and he was soliciting nude images of teens.
The video interview between Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe, and PV whistleblower Janine Bonanni: (Be advised about explicit references to sexual activity in social media statements referenced in the video)
The Liberty Daily openly wondered: “What is it about CNN that makes them hire the sickest pedophiles around? Last week, it was revealed that one of Fredo Cuomo’s former producers, John Griffin, had been arrested for allegedly luring girls as young as 9-years-old so he could rape them to teach them ‘sexual submissiveness.’
“Now, a Project Veritas whistleblower, Janine Bonanni, has come forward with text messages and audio recordings of ANOTHER CNN producer fantasizing about and shooting sick pictures of his 14-year-old step-daughter and asking Bonanni to send him nude photos of her 15-year-old daughter.”
O’Keefe’s website explained, “Project Veritas’ first course of action was to reach out to authorities. Following that, we reached out to the mother of the children to ensure their safety. Project Veritas then reached out to his employer, CNN, to inform them of the situation and give them the opportunity to comment.”
The Western Journal, on the atmosphere at CNN, said, “You have to wonder: Are all these allegations of sexual harassment and abuse just a big coincidence, or is this reflective of a depraved company culture? At a time when the political left, at the behest of social radicals, celebrates the widespread acceptance of promiscuity and all manner of sexual indulgence, it’s easy to point the finger not just at a left-wing cable network but at a culture that glorifies sex without attachment and attacks traditional sexual ethics as ‘oppressive.'”
The turmoil at CNN comes at a time when daily cable-news ratings have fallen off a cliff.
According to FastCompany, viewership plunged across all major cable-news channels in 2021 compared to 2020, with Fox Business down 47.5%, CNN dropping 40.5%, Fox News down 34.6%, MSNBC plummeting 29.7% and CNBC down 19%.
“So, what’s to blame for the declining viewership numbers?” asks FastCompany. “Burnout could have a lot to do with it. There’s only so much unrelenting negative news people can take. Especially when things don’t seem to be getting much better, it’s sometimes just easier to tune out.”
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