CNN’s Don Lemon chokes up eulogizing Jeff Zucker, claims ex-boss made lib network ‘relevant again’

CNN anchor Don Lemon opened his show Friday night by offering an emotional eulogy-type tribute to his former boss, Jeff Zucker. 

“It’s been a really tough day, today, and a tough few days for us here at CNN. All week, really. I didn’t want to talk about until tonight,” Lemon told his viewers. “So the truth is that we’re all heartbroken because we lost our leader here. We lost a man who was the backbone, the glue and the spirit of this company, the man who I personally credit with change in my life, the man who believed in me when nobody else did. He is the reason that you have a gay Black man with two hours of primetime, a show with my name on it, the only anchor of color in primetime on cable news, think about that. You want to talk about diversity? Here it is.”

JEFF ZUCKER SAGA: CNN’S BRIAN STELTER AVOIDS ADDRESSING GOLLUST AFFAIR BEING AN ‘OPEN SECRET’ ON HIS PODCAST

“It has been hard to come into work this week, not only for me but for so many of us here at CNN, my colleagues, 3,000 of us, more than 3,000 of us. So let me just say this to my colleagues who may not have been here as long as I have the younger folks who haven’t weathered the storms,” Lemon continued. “I’ve been at this network for almost 16 years. We have been through ups and downs ratings, rating highs, rating lows, everything, regime changes, we’ve been through a lot. And through it all our mission has remained the same to deliver the facts to deliver the news. It is what we did when Ted Turner turn the lights on here. It is what we did through two Gulf Wars, through 911, through Katrina, through an insurrection.”

From left, Brooke Baldwin, Jeff Zucker and Don Lemon attend CNN Heroes 2017 at the American Museum of Natural History on Dec. 17, 2017, in New York City. 

From left, Brooke Baldwin, Jeff Zucker and Don Lemon attend CNN Heroes 2017 at the American Museum of Natural History on Dec. 17, 2017, in New York City. 
(Getty Images)

Lemon credited Zucker for making CNN “relevant again” and “steadied it for the last decade,” insisting he left the network a “very good blueprint going forward.”

“So for all of you at home watching, you should know that I and my colleagues will continue to do exactly what he would want us to do. And that is to do what I’m going to do right now: deliver the news, no matter what it is, without fear or favor,” Lemon said. 

“So, thank you, Jeff Zucker, for everything you did for everyone at this network and for what you did to the entire country — for the entire country.”

“So, thank you, Jeff Zucker, for everything you did for everyone at this network and for what you did to the entire country — for the entire country.”

— Don Lemon

JEFF ZUCKER SAGA: OUSTED CNN BOSS RECEIVES MUSICAL TRIBUTE MOCKING RELATIONSHIP WITH ALLISON GOLLUST

“So, let’s just move on. Good evening, everyone. I’m Don Lemon. And this is CNN,” Lemon choked up before continuing to his opening monologue. 

Zucker stunned CNN staffers Wednesday by informing them of his immediate departure from the network, saying he was “wrong” to not disclose his relationship with colleague Allison Gollust, an executive vice president and chief marketing officer. 

CNN REPORTER: JEFF ZUCKER EXIT HAS LAWMAKERS, INCLUDING 1/6 COMMITTEE MEMBER, ‘DEVASTED FOR OUR DEMOCRACY’

Gollust, who is remaining with the company, issued her own statement, saying, “Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years. Recently, our relationship changed during COVID. I regret that we didn’t disclose it at the right time.”

Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust have been an item for years, according to a media industry veteran who worked with them roughly a decade ago. 

Jeff Zucker and Allison Gollust have been an item for years, according to a media industry veteran who worked with them roughly a decade ago. 
(Getty Images)

Damning revelations have been reported since Zucker’s resignation, including how his relationship with Gollust dates back to 1996 when she was a “trainee” and he was executive producer of NBC’s “Today” show and how the two of them fed “talking points” to Gollust’s old boss, then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to combat attacks from then-President Trump in the early months of the COVID pandemic. 

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

The CNN lovebirds were also reportedly “instrumental” in the televised Cuomo Brothers interviews in 2020 and Gollust personally appealed to the governor to continue his CNN appearances when his office began resisting. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.