Relationships in the Workplace: CNN CEO Jeff Zucker Resigns Because of Relationship with Employee – Media – Society

The head of the American news channel CNN, Jeff Zucker, resigns due to a secret relationship with a close colleague. “I certainly would have liked my term of office to end differently here,” the powerful media chief wrote in a message to TV station staff on Wednesday. “But it was an incredible time. And I loved every minute.”

The 56-year-old, who has been at the helm of CNN since 2013, is also stepping down as chairman of the news and sports division of CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia. The dismissal follows an internal investigation by CNN into the behavior of former star presenter Chris Cuomo.

He was fired last December for advising his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, on allegations of abuse by several women. The mix of journalism and politics had cast a bad light on the news channel.

“As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s time on CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest associate that I had been working on for more than 20 years,” Zucker said. “I have acknowledged that the relationship has evolved over the last few years. I should have revealed this when it started, but I did not. It was wrong. That is why I am resigning today.”

“Jeff and I were close friends and professional partners for over 20 years”

The woman is CNN Marketing Director Allison Gollust. “Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for more than 20 years,” she wrote in a statement. “Under Covid, our relationship changed.”

Gollust – who once worked for NBC and was Governor Cuomo’s communications director before joining CNN – also expressed regret at breaking up with Zucker not having published it previously. She will continue to work for CNN. In the United States, companies often have strict guidelines for the relationship between manager and employee.

In Germany, the media group Axel Springer recently changed a company’s code of conduct for personal relationships in the workplace. Managers with technical or disciplinary personnel responsibilities must therefore disclose conflicts of interest, such as a romantic relationship with an employee within their area of ​​responsibility.

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One of the reasons for the adjustment is the case of the former “Bild” editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt, which the group launched internal investigations against in the spring of 2021, and which was released from its post in the autumn following recent press research. According to Springer, the main focus of the investigation in the spring was allegations of abuse of power in connection with consensus relations with employees and drug use in the workplace.

Among other things, Zucker is known for his ambivalent relationship with Donald Trump

Zucker had started his television career at the age of 21 on the American television station NBC and had a meteoric career there. In 2007, he became president and CEO of media and entertainment company NBC Universal. Following the acquisition of the telecommunications group Comcast, Zucker left in 2010 – and joined CNN a few years later.

Among other things, Zucker is known for his ambivalent relationship with former President Donald Trump. While on NBC, he launched the reality TV show The Apprentice, which launched real estate entrepreneur Trump to star status. After Trump entered politics and his surprise victory in the 2016 presidential election, CNN was among the media that reported most critically on the Republican.

Trump, in turn, regularly attacked CNN and Zucker. On Wednesday, the ex-president welcomed the resignation of the CNN boss and described him as a “dingy guy” who alienated viewers. CNN lost many viewers last year compared to the 2020 election year, and the news channel is lagging behind the competition from Fox News and MSNBC in terms of viewership. (AFP, Tsp)

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