Ex-CNN chief Jeff Zucker to receive roughly $10 million from WarnerMedia, won’t sue: report

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Former CNN boss Jeff Zucker has reportedly agreed to a deal with CNN parent company WarnerMedia over his swift exit from the network that will award him roughly $10 million in exchange for not suing after being forced to resign last month. 

“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 wrote, citing “sources.”

Multiple requests for comment to Zucker’s spokesperson and attorneys by Fox News Digital went unanswered. 

WarnerMedia initially claimed Jeff Zucker was forced out because of a consensual sexual relationship, but since admitted he also violated the network’s "journalism integrity." (Getty images)

WarnerMedia initially claimed Jeff Zucker was forced out because of a consensual sexual relationship, but since admitted he also violated the network’s “journalism integrity.” (Getty images)
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A WarnerMedia spokesperson declined comment. 

Zucker was showered with praise from CNN’s biggest stars when he was shown the door on Feb. 2 for what was initially chalked up as a consensual relationship with fellow CNN executive Allison Gollust that was never disclosed to the company. CNN staffers and outside observers alike never bought that explanation, as their relationship was said to be an “open secret” throughout the media industry. 

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar eventually admitted Zucker and Gollust violated company policies related directly to news network’s standards and practices. Their violations were found during a third-party probe into CNN’s handling of the “issues” associated with Chris Cuomo and his big brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D.

“The investigation found violations of Company policies, including CNN’s News Standards and Practices, by Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, and Chris Cuomo,” Kilar wrote, indicating Zucker’s nondisclosed sexual relationship was not the reason he was forced to step down after all. 

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WarnerMedia has not explained how Zucker violated CNN’s standards and practices. 

Jeff Zucker was showered with praise from CNN’s biggest stars when he was shown the door earlier this month for what was initially chalked up as consensual relationship with fellow CNN executive Allison Gollust that was never disclosed to the company. (Getty Images)

Jeff Zucker was showered with praise from CNN’s biggest stars when he was shown the door earlier this month for what was initially chalked up as consensual relationship with fellow CNN executive Allison Gollust that was never disclosed to the company. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Gollust, who also resigned shortly after Zucker, had previously used language that indicated she planned to pursue legal action after she was accused of violating CNN’s standards and practices. 

“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,” she said as part of a leaked memo to colleagues.

Deadline reported deep in the Zucker report that “she was paid $1 million by WarnerMedia as part of the schism” following her exit.  

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Media veteran Chris Licht, who is currently the executive producer and showrunner for CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” will succeed Zucker. He is expected to join CNN in May following a long-planned merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery. 

Licht’s version of CNN is expected to pivot back to founder Ted Turner’s just-the-facts approach to news after Zucker pushed the network to the left, loading its lineup with liberal opinion pundits. 

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