Trump revels in resignation of longtime foe CNN boss Jeff Zucker: ‘A world-class sleazebag’

‘Jeff Zucker is gone — congratulations to all!’

Megan Sheets
Wednesday 02 February 2022 18:50
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Jeff Zucker: CNN boss resigns after admitting relationship with colleague

Former President Donald Trump has issued a gleefully scathing statement celebrating Jeff Zucker’s shock resignation as CNN president.

Mr Zucker announced he is stepping down from the role he’s held for decades in a letter to stunned staff on Wednesday after admitting to a consensual relationship with colleague Allison Gollust.

Mr Trump, who has long held CNN and Zucker among his top enemies, was quick to celebrate the news.

“Jeff Zucker, a world-class sleazebag who has headed ratings and real-news-challenged CNN for far too long, has been terminated for numerous reasons, but predominantly because CNN has lost its way with viewers … Jeff Zucker is gone — congratulations to all!” he wrote in a statement.

Donald Trump Jr similarly celebrated the news, invoking a Godfather character whose name became a popular insult by the former president. “Fredo took down Zucker!” Mr Trump Jr wrote in a tweet.

In his resignation letter, Mr Zucker said his relationship with Ms Gollust came to light after an investigation into his handling of the Chris Cuomo scandal.

“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,” Mr Zucker said.

“As a result, I am resigning today.”

Mr Zucker, 56, joined CNN in 2013 from NBC and was credited with driving the cable news network to ratings success in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

“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.”

Ms Gollust, CNN’s chief marketing officer, wrote in a separate memo to staff that she would be remaining in her job.

“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.”

Mr Zucker was married to former Saturday Night Live producer Caryn Nathanson from 1996 to 2019 and they have four children together.

His resignation came as a shock to many at the network, who praised his contribution.

Reliable Sources host Brian Stetler called the news “stunning” as it was announced on air.

He offered kind words for Mr Zucker, calling him “a larger than life figure for more than a decade” and “the rock of this organization”.

Jason Kilar, the CEO of CNN parent WarnerMedia, thanked Mr Zucker and said he would soon be announcing an interim leadership plan.

“Both of these organizations are at the top of their respective games and are well prepared for their next chapters.”

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