CNN’s Camerota: Zucker resignation ‘feels wrong on some level’
CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota described a feeling of sadness and frustration at the network following the resignation of its top boss on Wednesday.
“I feel it deeply personally but also I think I speak for a lot of us and our colleagues. This is an incredible loss,” Camerota said of the resignation of Jeff Zucker hours earlier. “It’s just so regrettable how it happened.”
Zucker resigned suddenly Wednesday, writing in a memo to staffers at CNN that through an investigation stemming from his firing of former anchor Chris Cuomo, he had been asked about a romantic relationship he has been having with another top-ranking employee at the network.
The employee, CNN chief marketing officer Allison Gollust, said in a statement of her own that she and Zucker “have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years” and that their relationship turned romantic during the pandemic.
“I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong,” Zucker said of their personal relationship.
Camerota suggested she does not agree.
“These are two consenting adults who are both executives,” she said. “That they can’t have a private relationship feels wrong on some level.”
Cuomo’s legal team, which is currently fighting CNN for a hefty separation package the former anchor says he is owed, reportedly raised issues with Zucker and Gollust’s relationship as part of their negotiations, sparking fears they may go public with the revelations.
WarnerMedia, which owns CNN, has a policy regarding “personal relationships” for all employees. The policy stipulates that if any employee enters a “personal relationship” with any other employee over whom they could “influence the employment, advancement or hiring,” the relationship needs to be disclosed to the company’s human resources department.
Zucker and Gollust’s professional relationship stemmed back years to when the two were at NBCUniversal. Before joining CNN, Gollust served as an aide to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), the anchor’s brother. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation from office over sexual misconduct allegations ultimately led to Chris Cuomo’s firing from the network once it was reported that Chris Cuomo had been working with his brother’s team to defend the former governor from the allegations.
Camerota was once co-anchors with Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day” morning program.