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CNN exec Allison Gollust, woman in relationship with ex-chief Jeff Zucker, resigns

The network said an investigation “found violations of Company policies, including CNN’s News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo.”
Image: Allison Gollust
Allison Gollust, then the communications director for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in Albany, N.Y., on Jan. 3, 2013.Mike Groll / AP file

Allison Gollust, the CNN executive in a relationship that triggered the resignation this month of network President Jeff Zucker, has also resigned from the network, according to an email sent to staff members.

Jason Kilar, the CEO of CNN’s parent corporation, WarnerMedia, announced Gollust's resignation in the email Tuesday.

“Earlier today, Allison Gollust resigned from CNN following the conclusion of the company’s investigation into issues associated with Chris Cuomo and former Governor Andrew Cuomo,” Kilar said in the email.

“The investigation found violations of Company policies, including CNN’s News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo,” Kilar wrote.

In a letter sent to CNN staff and obtained by NBC News, Gollust said she was disappointed in the way things played out.

"WarnerMedia’s statement tonight is an attempt to retaliate against me and change the media narrative in the wake of their disastrous handling of the last two weeks,” she wrote. “It is deeply disappointing that after spending the past nine years defending and upholding CNN’s highest standards of journalistic integrity, I would be treated this way as I leave. But I do so with my head held high, knowing that I gave my heart and soul to working with the finest journalists in the world.”

Former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was investigated by the network for aiding his brother against sexual misconduct allegations. The former governor stepped down but has denied any wrongdoing.

The network fired Chris Cuomo in December after an investigation by the New York attorney general showed in more detail how he helped his brother, the former governor, defend himself against the allegations.

Zucker announced his departure Feb. 2, telling employees that he was required to disclose a relationship with a close colleague but had failed to do so.

The decision came after he was asked about a “consensual relationship with my closest colleague” as part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo.

Shortly after news of Zucker's resignation broke, Gollust, CNN’s chief marketing officer, sent a separate memo to employees acknowledging that her relationship to Zucker had “changed during COVID.” 

“I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time,” she said. “I’m incredibly proud of my time at CNN and look forward to continuing the great work we do every day."

Gollust and Zucker previously worked together at NBCUniversal, where he was president and CEO and she was the executive vice president of corporate communications.

Just a year ago, Gollust, as a top lieutenant to Zucker, was seen as his likely replacement at CNN. She is the former communications director for Andrew Cuomo.

Zucker had said in early 2021 that he might depart by the end of that year.

"I realize this news is troubling, disappointing, and frankly, painful to read," he said. "These are valid feelings many of you have."

The rules, Kilar said, must apply equally to all employees.