Report: Former Cuomo Spokeswoman Is Top Contender to Succeed Zucker at CNN

Allison Gollust, communications director for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
AP Photo/Mike Groll

NBC’s Dylan Byers, an alumnus of CNN, reported on Tuesday that Allison Gollust, CNN’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, is the “top internal candidate” under consideration to succeed Jeff Zucker, the news media outlet’s current president.

Byers tweeted, “#Scoop re CNN [succession]: Allison Gollust, CNN EVP & CMO, is seen by CNN leadership as top internal candidate to succeed Jeff Zucker (as in, most qualified). Not clear she’d take it if offered, or if it will be offered, but there it is.”

Byers wrote Gollust “has emerged as the leading internal candidate to take over the network,” according to sources at CNN. He added:

Her promotion, which is being considered by the leadership of AT&T, CNN’s parent company, would place her in a role that she is intimately familiar with. As Zucker’s most-trusted lieutenant for decades, she has been involved in or had a front-row seat to every major decision of his tenure at the network, from international deals to talent management and programming. The CNN sources noted that she is almost always present at his side both in the office and in the field.

Weeks ago, Zucker announced his intention to leave CNN by the end of 2021. Last year, he hinted at his consideration of running for mayor of New York City.

Gollust previously worked as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D-NY) communications director. Prior to joining Cuomo’s administration, she spent over 15 years at NBC Universal, including during Zucker’s previous tenure as NBC Universal’s president and CEO.

CNN’s links to New York’s governor include Chris Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo’s younger brother, who hosts an evening primetime show on the network.

CNN markets itself as a politically objective and non-partisan news media outlet. It advertises its professional ethos as “Fact First” and previously branded itself, “The Most Trusted Name In News.”



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