Brian Stelter on Zucker, Cuomo Exits: ‘This Is a Legal Mess for CNN’


CNN media reporter Brian Stelter said Sunday on his show “Reliable Sources” that his network faces a “legal mess” from executives Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and anchor Chris Cuomo’s exits.

Stelter said, “When CNN President Jeff Zucker abruptly resigned this month, people wondered if another shoe was going to drop. Zucker tied his exit to his failure to disclose a romantic relationship with Allison Gollust  But was there more to the story? A few days ago, Gollust also resigned, and now there are stories about the reasons why. It seems the second shoe was landed. Well-placed sources have told me the situation involves, quote, ‘serious ethical violations.’ Their reps have pushed back on that strongly, and CNN’s parent warner media is not sharing specifics.”

He continued, “So here is what we do know. We know that Zucker and Gollust were personally involved in CNN’s coverage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo while his brother Chris was an anchor here. Those brotherly interviews at the start of the pandemic were controversial. We know, later on, Chris helped Governor Cuomo and the governor’s aides fend sexual harassment allegations. We know Zucker did stay loyal to Chris while critics called for the anchorman to be suspended. We know that Zucker eventually did suspend and then fire Chris Cuomo in December. Zucker said he would not pay out the rest of Cuomo’s contract. Cuomo’s legal team then turned around and said, why was he fired for ethical lapses if Zucker and Gollust were guilty of the same thing? That’s what caused a third-party law firm to ask lots and lots of questions, including about Gollust’s interactions with the former governor and Zucker’s relationship with Gollust. A lot came throughout through this third-party legal probe.”

Stelter added, “This is a legal mess for CNN.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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