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‘Joined at the Hip’: Jeff Zucker’s Relationship With a Top CNN Executive


Jeff Zucker’s tenure as president of CNN ended in an abrupt fashion on Wednesday just days after he acknowledged to company lawyers what had long been rumored in television news circles: He was in a romantic relationship with the person he has described as his closest professional colleague, Allison Gollust.Ms. Gollust, 49, is CNN’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, although those titles only hint at her influence: As one of the network’s senior leaders, she is closely involved in business and communications strategy. She also served as Mr. Zucker’s chief spokeswoman, fiercely defending him as he battled then-President Donald J. Trump, contended with corporate rivals and navigated ethics scandals.She has worked alongside Mr. Zucker for more than 20 years, starting as a senior publicist at NBC’s “Today” show in 1997, when Mr. Zucker — then a wunderkind executive producer in his mid-20s — was sending the morning program to phenomenal ratings heights.Their relationship is now central to the question of why Mr. Zucker, 56, was forced by WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company, to step down so suddenly from his job of nine years …

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