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Tipsheet

Allison Gollust Resigns from CNN Over Violations of Company Policies

AP Photo/Ron Harris

Allison Gollust resigned from CNN as the network's executive vice president and chief marketing officer on Tuesday after an investigation found that she violated company policies.

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The investigation was conducted by a third-party law firm and looked into "issues associated with" former CNN anchor Chris Cuomo and his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), according to a letter from Jason Kilar, CEO of CNN parent company Warner Media.

The resignation comes after former CNN president Jeff Zucker announced his immediate resignation earlier this month after he failed to disclose his relationship with Gollust during the investigation into Chris Cuomo, who was fired in December following revelations that he was more involved in defending his brother against sexual harassment allegations than previously known. Just days before his termination, Chris Cuomo was also accused of sexual misconduct by a former colleague from his time at ABC News.

This, despite the relationship between the two CNN executives considered to be an "open secret" among CNN employees and media personalities at other networks.

"Based on interviews of more than 40 individuals and a review of over 100,000 texts and emails, the investigation found violations of Company policies, including CNN's News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo," Kilar wrote in the letter.

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"We have the highest standards of journalistic integrity at CNN, and those rules must apply to everyone equally," he continued. "Given the information provided to me in the investigation, I strongly believe we have taken the right actions and the right decisions have been made."

Gollust slammed Warner Media for its statement, claiming it was "an attempt to retaliate against me and change the media narrative in the wake of their disastrous handling of the last two weeks."

"It is deeply disappointing that after spending the past nine years defending and upholding CNN's highest standards of journalistic integrity, I would be treated this way as I leave," she said in a statement. "But I do so with my head held high, knowing that I gave my heart and soul to working with the finest journalists in the world."

In a statement following Zucker's resignation earlier this month, Gollust said she and Zucker have been "close friends and professional partners for over 20 years" but that their relationship "changed during COVID."

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"I regret that we didn't disclose it at the right time," she said at the time.

But additional information about the relationship Zucker had with Gollust has been reported since his departure, including how the relationship dates back to the 1990s when she was a "trainee" and he was executive producer of NBC's "Today" show.

The two also gave "talking points" to Gov. Cuomo, Gollust's former boss, to respond to criticisms from then-President Donald Trump during daily coronavirus briefings early on in the coronavirus pandemic. 

Zucker and Gollust were allegedly "instrumental" in Gov. Cuomo's appearance on his brother's show in 2020, with Gollust personally requesting that the governor continue making appearances on CNN after his office began objecting to scheduling more interviews.

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