The Chief Executive of CNN’s parent company WarnerMedia, Jason Kilar, has been told by various employees that the removal of President of the Network Jeff Zucker was a severe blow to their mental health.
Monday Morning Q&A Session
Kilar held another question and answer session this Monday morning with the top producers of CNN and on-air talent in New York. The session was held over a video conference this time, from his office in California and thankfully not in person.
However, it seemed to go as abysmally as the in-person meetings he held in New York, Atlanta, and Washington last week. The meeting that continued for over an hour is yet another proof of the wholehearted and intense sense of loyalty held and expressed by the on-air talent of CNN for Zucker.
It also highlighted the overpowering sadness that everyone is feeling in his absence, especially with the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger approaching. Alisyn Camerota, the CNN host, mentioned during the most touching and sorrowful moment of the video meeting that what everyone is feeling is a “huge shockwave to all of our mental health”.
Jeff Zucker’s Resignation
Jeff Zucker officially declared he was leaving the network last Wednesday. This came as a consequence of failing to disclose his involvement in a romantic relationship with a subordinate. The subordinate is reportedly the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Allison Gollust, though he never even once mentioned her.
During the investigation of the tenure of Chris Cuomo at CNN, he was asked about a consensual relationship with his closest colleague with whom he has worked for more than 20 years.
He accepted how his relationship bloomed and evolved quite recently, in the past few years only. He should have rightfully disclosed it when it started but he failed to do so. He was wrong at his place and because of that; he resigned on February 2nd, 2022 after sharing all these details with his employees through a memo, which left everyone in a state of shock.
The memo shared by Jeff Zucker never even once mentioned Allison Gollust’s name. She served as the communications director for the former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo is a disgraced name for everyone due to the multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct received against him. Cuomo resigned amidst all this.
Allison Camerota has repeatedly openly shared her frustration over ousting of Jeff Zucker. She has been seen downplaying the severity of Zucker’s relationship with Gollust by addressing it as “two consenting adults”.
Allison has mentioned multiple times how she feels that Jeff’s resignation is a loss as he is not just a remarkable person but, also a leader for all of them. She says that he has an unusual skill of making each one of us feel special, valued, and important, even after managing an international news organization and with thousands of people working for him.
She says if the reports are to be considered true, we are talking about two consenting adults in the position of executives, and the fact that they cannot share a personal relationship feels wrong to her on some level.
Jeff Zucker’s resignation has surely been a hard hit for his employees who adore him and respect him for his work. His respectable and quiet resignation has only earned him appreciation.
He was considered irreplaceable because of his unique abilities and extraordinary way of managing the international news organization. However, now he has been replaced by CNN Executive Vice Presidents Michael Bass, Amy Entelis, and Ken Juatz.
Whether Jeff Zucker’s decision of resignation was right and justified or not, no one can say for sure. However, he decided to acknowledge where he went wrong and has set an example for everyone to deal with the situation like an honorable gentleman and a principled attitude.