CNN’s President Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned Wednesday after an inappropriate workplace relationship was revealed during Chris Cuomo’s exit lawsuit.
Jeff Zucker, CNN’s president and a past executive for Matt Lauer who hired Donald Trump at NBC resigned from CNN after an inappropriate workplace relationship with a coworker and ex-Andrew Cuomo aide.
- Zucker’s affair was was revealed during Chris Cuomo’s lawsuit. Cuomo sued over his firing amid a separate workplace misconduct scandal and inappropriate involvement with his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s sexual harassment scandal.
- Earlier this month, alternative outlet Radar Online broke the news of the Zucker-Gollust affair, alleging that their relationship became entangled in the separate Chris Cuomo scandal.
- Gollust previously worked for Andrew Cuomo and lobbied him to appear in the controversial “Cuomo brothers” segments early in the pandemic. Their affair, her past ties to the Cuomos and their longstanding support of Chris Cuomo complicated his firing and opened them to charges of hypocrisy.
- In Gollust’s statement she claimed the relationship changed during COVID, but there are public reports of a “public argument” between the two that “shocked” their colleagues as far back as 2017. Gollust was also floated as a potential Zucker replacement as recently as last year.
- Politico reported that many of the big-name on-air talent at CNN, including Jake Tapper and Briana Keilar, were more outraged that Zucker was being forced out in some sort of corporate backroom plot than his alleged inappropriate workplace behavior.
- The Guardian labeled CNN the prime example of why trust in media has fallen to bargain-basement levels.
- The Intercept investigated a more nefarious aspect of CNN’s business model: the “surveillance advertising” model that allows CNN and other large outlets to profit off of user data.
- Fox News reminded readers of CNN’s 2021 annus horribilis. In just one year, CNN saw Chris Cuomo implode after a sexual harassment scandal and helping his brother ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) cover up his own sexual harassment scandal, brought Jeffrey Toobin back after his Zoom “incident,” a senior producer charged with sex crimes, and its ratings decline by 81% with Trump out of office.
- The Ruthless Podcast’s episode on the “scandal at CNN” was a tour de force, covering in detail the various aspects of the Zucker scandal, the Cuomo connections and the “Anthony Weiner butterfly effect.”
- Megyn Kelly interviewed the folks who originally broke the Jeff Zucker story and they dive deep into the “credibility crisis” facing CNN on The Megyn Kelly Show podcast.
Jeff Zucker is like the Forrest Gump of New York politics and media. Zucker was Matt Lauer’s boss, and Lauer’s history of sexual misconduct did not emerge until after Zucker left. Zucker hired Donald Trump to host The Apprentice, then helped provide him with over $2 billion in free media in 2015-2016 that proved indispensable to Trump’s unlikely presidential run.
Zucker’s CNN became the chief Russiagate hysteric and CNN profited immensely from its “resistance” coverage. His network hired ex-spies who made outrageous allegations of Russian collusion from cushy media perches. He hired Chris Cuomo and encouraged the “Cuomo brothers” routine that gave then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) gushing media coverage during the early days of the pandemic.
Now all five – Zucker, Lauer, Trump, and the Cuomos – are unemployed. They sowed the wind, now they shall reap the whirlwind.
© Dominic Moore, 2022