The president of CNN Jeff Zucker, who symbolized the repositioning of the chain, in particular during the Trump presidency, announced his resignation on Wednesday, after the revelation of a hidden affair with a colleague.
56-year-old Jeff Zucker, who had been head of CNN since 2013, said he was “wrong” to silence this relationship with the channel’s marketing director. Donald Trump, of whom CNN has been a favourite target for years, hailed the departure of a “world-class scrapper”.
Jeff Zucker explained that he admitted to the existence of this liaison during a recent internal investigation unrelated to him, devoted to journalist Chris Cuomo, recently dismissed.
“I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years,” the leader said in an internal memo published by CNN.
“I recognized that this relationship had evolved in recent years,” the official continued. “I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today.”
In another internal memo, marketing director Allison Gollust, who the channel said she would keep her job, also expressed regret for not reporting the affair, which she said began during the pandemic, to her employer. . Jeff Zucker has been estranged from his wife, Caryn, since 2018.
Complex relationship with Trump
Charismatic, talkative, Jeff Zucker has repositioned the channel against its big competitor Fox News and took advantage of the aspiration following the entry of Donald Trump into politics. The original Floridian has a complex relationship with the real estate developer, a mixture of attraction and repulsion.
In the early 2000s, Jeff Zucker offered him a launch pad by airing the reality show “The Apprentice” when he was at the helm of NBC but has since distanced himself from the former president.
During Donald Trump’s two campaigns as well as during his tenure, CNN presented itself as the channel for factual information, which was often opposed to what its reporters saw as false allegations or lies by the Trump team.
“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 and everybody else,” the ex-president said in a statement.
“Now is a change to put Fake News in the backseat because there may not be anything more important than straightening out the horrendous LameStream Media in our Country, and in the case of CNN, throughout the World,” the ex-president continued.
‘Jeff Zucker is gone – congratulations to all!’ Trump concluded.