Ex-CNN Exec Allison Gollust Secretly Drafted Interview Topics With Then-Gov Andrew Cuomo, Probe Says

© AP Photo / Mike GrollAllison Gollust, communications director for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is shown in this photo, Jan. 3, 2013, in Albany, N.Y.
Allison Gollust, communications director for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is shown in this photo, Jan. 3, 2013, in Albany, N.Y.    - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.02.2022
As AT&T eyes a major merger involving CNN parent company WarnerMedia and Discovery, executives at both companies are concurrently faced with a number of internal issues, including the admittedly undisclosed relationship between ousted CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust, who recently resigned as CNN's chief marketing officer.
A top communications official with WarnerMedia confirmed to staffers in a recent call that senior-level CNN executive Allison Gollust's Tuesday resignation was not exclusively related to her relationship with Jeff Zucker, as a third-party probe unearthed journalism ethics violations within extensive communications between her and disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D).
Cravath, Swaine & Moore, a New York-based law firm, launched an investigation last year to examine allegations of workplace misconduct leveled against then-CNN host Chris Cuomo.
Investigators soon learned that Chris Cuomo advised his brother and governor, Andrew Cuomo, on how to handle the media amid a slew of sexual misconduct allegations that ultimately led to the upending of the latter's career.
The damning review uncovered evidence that Zucker and Gollust were more than simply longtime CNN colleagues concealing their romantic relationship from the company's human resources department.
Brian Stelter attends the 15th annual CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021, in New York. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.02.2022
CNN Insider: Network Should Fire 'Water Boy' Brian Stelter for Not Exposing Zucker-Gollust Affair
Furthermore, it was found that Gollust, who briefly worked for then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2012 and 2013, remained in extensive contact with the New York governor, despite the nature of her job.
In particular, Gollust likely committed ethics violations in her reported correspondence ahead of a March 2020 interview with then-Gov. Cuomo. Prior to his CNN appearance, Gov. Cuomo informed Gollust of a number of interview topics that he would be comfortable responding to during the broadcast.
"Done,” the CNN chief marketing officer wrote in response to Cuomo's submitted questions.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a COVID-19 briefing on July 6, 2020 in New York City. On the 128th day since the first confirmed case in New York and on the first day of phase 3 of the reopening, Gov. Cuomo asked New Yorkers to continue to be smart while citing the rise of infections in other states. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.12.2021
Newly Disclosed Docs Reveal DoJ Investigating Andrew Cuomo Over Sexual Harassment Claims
While Chris Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo, Zucker, and Gollust have all rebuked the need for their respective exits, the domino effect of high-profile resignations at CNN has prompted many questions regarding the outlet's practices, standards, and the extent of CNN journalists' connections with leaders they claim to hold accountable.
Risa Heller, a spokesperson for Gollust, told the New York Times that the referenced communications with Cuomo "in no way suggested that inclusion of these topics was a condition of the interview, nor did [Gollust] suggest the interview should be limited."

"WarnerMedia relying on this everyday practice as justification for dismissing Allison demonstrates how ignorant they are of journalistic practices, and further proves that her dismissal is nothing more than retaliation," Heller suggested.

She also claimed that it "was well known by the entire network" that Gollust was acting "as the principal booker for Governor Cuomo during the early days of the pandemic."
On Tuesday, CNN parent company WarnerMedia detailed that the third-party probe found that Gollust, Zucker, and Chris Cuomo committed unspecified "violations of company policies, including CNN’s news standards and practices."
The investigation relied on interviews with more than 40 individuals, as well as a review of more than 100,000 texts and emails.
"I realize this news is troubling, disappointing and frankly painful to read," WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar said in an email addressed to company employees. "These are valid feelings that many of you have. We have the highest standards of journalistic integrity and those rules must apply to everyone equally."
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo attends the 12th annual CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Cuomo has told viewers that he “tried to do the right thing” when balancing his role as a journalist and brother to outgoing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced his resignation following allegations of sexual harassment. Chris Cuomo returned to the air Monday, Aug. 16, 2021, for the first time following his brother's announcement and addressed what has become an awkward issue for his employer. - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.02.2022
Chris Cuomo Most Likely to Get $9 Million as Payment to Keep Quiet About Jeff Zucker
The executive shakeup at CNN, which advertises itself as "the most trusted name in news," notably comes ahead of a tentative AT&T merger involving Discovery and WarnerMedia.
Earlier this month, Discovery announced that the joint effort with AT&T was cleared of US antitrust concerns and had satisfied the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, which requires companies to provide both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and US Department of Justice with advance notice of mergers with a minimum deal value.
HBO, Cartoon Network, CNN, Warner Bros., TNT, and TBS are among the many WarnerMedia brands set to be transferred.
The telecom giant's merger is slated for May 17, 2021. David Zaslav has been selected to head the forthcoming entity, to be dubbed 'Warner Bros. Discovery.'
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала