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Former CNN boss Jeff Zucker reportedly struck a deal on Tuesday with WarnerMedia for approximately $10 million in exchange for not suing the network after he was forced to resign, while his co-worker/lover Allison Gollust will get $1 million to buy her silence as well in the deal.
“Details of the confidential package are obviously being kept close to the vest, but sources tell us Zucker made the decision several weeks ago to accept what had been put on the table by his old bosses at the time of his cable news exit. What we do know is that, if WarnerMedia keeps their side of the deal, in the next week to 10 days, Zucker will receive a one-time payment of around $10 million,” Deadline’s Dominic Patten and Ted Johnson reported, citing unnamed “sources.”
Word of the hefty settlement came after Zucker reportedly hired a big-time law firm to put WarnerMedia on notice that CEO Jason Kilar’s characterization of his departure bordered on being defamatory.
Zucker’s affair was an open secret in the media business but it was never formally disclosed to CNN. Both Zucker’s colleagues and outsiders openly disbelieve that is why he was forced to resign and leave. Gollust resigned two weeks after Zucker left.
Jeff Zucker is getting paid!! Just doesn’t seem right. Hmm #cnn #jeffzucker #money #conservative pic.twitter.com/JY8pQM48Kp
— Joe Pags Pagliarulo (@JoeTalkShow) March 9, 2022
WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar contended that the two CNN big wigs violated company policies in regard to the network’s standards and practices. The impropriety surfaced during a probe into CNN’s handling of “issues” connected to ousted former CNN star Chris Cuomo and his big brother, disgraced former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“The investigation found violations of Company policies, including CNN’s News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo,” Kilar wrote, intimating that Zucker’s nondisclosed relationship was not the actual reason he was given the boot. There has been no explanation on how Zucker and Gollust violated CNN’s standards and practices.
Looks like he will be able to fill up his gas tank for a few months.
— Gary Saastad (@gary_saastad) March 9, 2022
Chris Cuomo has allegedly insinuated that the real reason Zucker had to go was because of his work with Andrew Cuomo. An unnamed source told Page Six, “His camp believes Zucker wasn’t fired for an inappropriate relationship with Allison Gollust. Everybody knew about that and nobody cared.
“What he believes happened is that WarnerMedia found something in their investigation into Chris, perhaps internal memos or documents, which revealed more about Zucker’s involvement with Andrew Cuomo,” the source contended. “Gollust was just a convenient excuse.”
Gollust initially planned to sue, “WarnerMedia’s statement tonight is an attempt to retaliate against me and change the media narrative in the wake of their disastrous handling of the last two weeks.”
But under this new agreement, she will also allegedly drop her lawsuit.
Media veteran Chris Licht, who is currently the executive producer and showrunner for CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” will take Zucker’s place. He will join CNN in May following a merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery. He is said to be a just-the-facts kind of guy and not politically biased when it comes to the news.
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