CNN’s Jeff Zucker has stepped down from his role as President, with effect from Wednesday.

Zucker, who made the announcement two months after sacking Chris Cuomo for improper conduct, took the decision after admitting to have had a consensual relationship with a close colleague; whom he worked with for twenty years. He disclosed this in a memo addressed to CNN employees recently.

“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.

“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,” he stated.

Though Zucker failed to name the employee, many believe his close lieutenant – Allison Gollust, was the colleague being referred to. Gollust will however remain at CNN.

Allison Gollust had previously worked with Zucker at NBC in the 90s but switched grounds to CNN after Zucker was placed in charge at the network. They also have history of failed marriages during their time as colleagues in the broadcasting industry.

Speaking on the development, Gollust admitted her regret of having not opened up to the right authorities before now.

Gollust—who is currently the executive vice president and chief marketing officer—also insisted that her relationship with Zucker has been kept professional over the past two decades.

“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 everyday.”

Jeff Zucker’s time as President of CNN has been seen as revamping and unrelenting. His management approach and experience from his time at NBC also endeared him to employees worldwide.

CNN also stated that the ‘Facts First’ method was employed under Zucker; who was key in maintaining the standards of the media outfit during the tenure of Donald Trump as POTUS.

Following Zucker’s departure, two unnamed persons have disclosed that he was likely to have had his contract terminated.

However, the news comes after CNN’s recent dwindling ratings. This was contained in the Nielsen ratings which showed that the network’s number of views dropped from 2.7 million global views to an average of 548,000 in the first week of January.

CNN also reached a peak number of views during the coverage of the US Capitol attacks that same week, but have fallen short of top ratings to Fox News in recent times.

Zucker’s departure also adds to a list of recent scandals in the broadcasting network. Most notably was the discovery of Chris Cuomo’s involvement in the defense of his brother; over sexual allegations months ago.

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