Zucker shocked the media landscape Wednesday when he announced he was resigning as CNN’s chief executive effective immediately, citing his failure to disclose his relationship with CNN executive vice president and chief marketing officer Allison Gollust, who is remaining with the company. Industry insiders and even former CNN employees took to social media alleging their relationship, which Gollust suggested only blossomed during the pandemic, was an “open secret” for decades, dating back to their joint tenure at NBC.
An excerpt from Katie Couric’s tell-all book released last year went viral, hinting at how intimate the professional and personal relationship between Zucker and Gollust was. Numerous reports detailed Zucker and Gollust’s living situation, which took place in a building on the Upper East Side. She reportedly lived in unit 4W, where she still resides, while Zucker lived right below her in unit 3W, at least until he sold his apartment in 2020.
With that in mind, the co-hosts of the conservative podcast “Ruthless” kicked off Thursday’s episode singing to Tony Orlando’s hit song “Knock Three Times.”
“Hey, girl, whatcha doin’ down there? Dancin’ alone every night while I live right above you,” the hosts began singing. “I can hear your music playing. I can feel your body swaying. One floor below me, You don’t even know me, I love you.”
“Oh, my darling, knock three times on the ceiling if you want me,” they continued. “Mmm, hmm, twice on the pipe if the answer is no. Oh, my sweetness [boom, boom, boom] means you’ll meet me in the hallway. Ohh, ohh, twice on the pipe means you ain’t gonna show.”
Zucker stunned CNN staffers on Wednesday morning informing them of his immediate departure from the network, saying he was “wrong” to not disclose the relationship.
Gollust 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.”
Damning revelations have been reported since Zucker’s ousting, including how his relationship with Gollust dates back to 1996 when she was a “trainee” and he was the executive producer of “Today” 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.
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.