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CNN Inquiry Reveals Reasons Behind Top Executive Departures




Another CNN executive resigned following the conclusion of WarnerMedia’s investigation into the scandal involving ex-anchor Chris Cuomo and his brother, Andrew, the former New York governor.

Jason Kilar, CEO of CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia explains that Allison Gollust, executive VP and chief marketing officer tendered her resignation, after being named in the probe alongside Cuomo and former CNN president Jeff Zucker in a memo sent to company staff members.

The probe uncovered violations of WarnerMedia’s policies and CNN’s News Standards and Practices. Kilar noted that the investigation into the ex-anchor consisted of interviewing at least 40 individuals and reviewing over 100,000 emails and texts, which was conducted by a third-party law firm and led by a former federal justice.

WarnerMedia’s CEO wrote in his memo:

I realize this news is troubling, disappointing, and, frankly, difficult to read. We have the highest standards of journalistic integrity at CNN, and those rules must apply to everyone equally.


Courtesy of Fortune Live Media (Flickr CC0)

Gollust’s departure comes after Zucker’s ouster on Feb. 2, 2022. At the time, he disclosed that during the investigation into Cuomo’s tenure that he was asked about his consensual relationship with Gollust, his “closest colleague,” that had evolved in recent years. “I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t.” He admitted he was wrong in a staff memo, according to USA Today.

After Zucker’s resignation, Gollust stated they had “been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years.” The sexual relationship between them evolved during COVID. She regrets not having reported the change right away and noted that each of them is divorced.

I’m incredibly proud of my time at CNN and look forward to continuing the great work we do every day.

In response to the WarnerMedia CEO’s memo, Gollust blasted the company’s narrative and how they mishandled their investigation over the past two weeks. She asserts she spent “the past nine years defending and upholding CNN’s highest standard of journalistic integrity,” and added she was deeply disappointed in WarnerMedia’s attempted retaliation against her.


Courtesy of Matt Billings (Flickr CC0)

Both she and Zucker had been with NBC. Before beginning her tenure at CNN, Gollust worked as the former New York governor’s communication director.

Zucker stood by the ex-anchor before Cuomo was fired last year, despite disclosures that he and his brother discussed how to respond to the sexual harassment scandal surrounding the former New York governor.

WarnerMedia fired Cuomo nearly three months after his brother’s resignation after documents released by New York Attorney General Letitia James revealed the ex-anchor’s “behind-the-scenes role [in] helping his brother was more extensive than previously acknowledged,” reports The Washington Post.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware


USA Today: CNN executive Allison Gollust resigns, following Jeff Zucker, after probe finds ‘issues’ related to Cuomos; by Charles Trepany
The Washington Post: Second CNN executive exits in wake of internal Cuomo inquiry’ by Lynn Elber
CNN: Top CNN exec resigns as WarnerMedia chief accuses her and former network boss Zucker of standards violations; by Brian Stelter

Featured and Top Image Josh Hallett’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image by Fortune Brainstorm TECH Courtesy of Fortune Live Media’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Matt Billings’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Cathy Milne-Ware is a seasoned writer and editor. Her background: Journalism for online and print newspapers, new website content from the about page to blog posts, newsletters, book reviews, and social media content. She enjoys writing Health, Entertainment, and Political news stories.

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