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Jeff Zucker is ‘sounding board’ for stressed CNN staffers – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Jeff Zucker is ‘sounding board’ for stressed CNN staffers

After the departure of CNN boss Chris Licht, which was deemed disastrous, the stress from his reign continues to linger, according to multiple sources.

Another former CNN honcho, Jeff Zucker, is reportedly still serving as a mentor to the distressed cable news staff, even after David Zaslav’s Discovery takeover of the channel.

“Jeff has been a great source of support for everyone during this challenging year since he left,” a source told TheFantasyTimes.

Our source reveals, “Just because Licht is no longer there doesn’t mean that the stress at CNN has disappeared. Zaslav is still very much involved.”

One notable CNN anchor, Jake Tapper, seems to be content with the new management. “I’m disappointed that things didn’t work out with Chris,” he stated on Kara Swisher’s podcast. “But I can confidently say that things are really going well at the moment.”

Chris Licht, David Zaslav
Chris Licht, shown here with David Zaslav, left the network in June.
Getty Images

In February 2022, Zucker and his long-time girlfriend, Allison Gollust, were removed from their positions after their workplace romance was exposed.

In April 2022, the “most trusted name in news” made the decision to cancel its fledgling CNN Plus streaming service before it launched, following Zaslav’s takeover as part of the Warner Bros. Discovery merger.

In a series of missteps by CNN, primetime star Don Lemon was moved to a morning show that experienced a significant decline in ratings, and he was later fired after facing allegations of sexism and contributing to a toxic workplace environment.

Don Lemon, Jeff Zucker
Zucker and former CNN anchor Don Lemon have been spending time together this summer.
FilmMagic

(Lemon claims he was fired by the network for refusing to tolerate “bigots and liars” on-air).

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Then Licht, who several sources revealed was not trusted by staffers, was let go after facing various crises, including a poorly received town hall event featuring Donald Trump.

The executive also became the subject of an embarrassing profile in the Atlantic.

Chris Licht

After disastrous CNN boss Chris Licht was pushed out at CNN, the stress from his reign remains, according to multiple sources.

Another axed CNN honcho, Jeff Zucker, is apparently still the mentor for the distressed cable news staff, even after David Zaslav’s Discovery takeover of the channel.

“[Jeff’s] been a great sounding board for everyone during what has been a really difficult year since he left,” a source told TheFantasyTimes.

Our source tells us, “Just because [Licht] is gone doesn’t mean the stress at CNN is gone. Zaslav is still very involved.”

Star anchor Jake Tapper, for one, seems happy with new management. “I’m bummed that it didn’t work out with Chris,” he said on Kara Swisher’s podcast. “But I will say that things are really good right now.”

Chris Licht, David Zaslav
Chris Licht, shown here with David Zaslav, left the network in June.
Getty Images

In February 2022, Zucker and his longtime girlfriend, Allison Gollust, were ousted after their workplace romance was exposed.

In April 2022, the “most trusted name in news” canceled its infant CNN Plus streaming service before it even got off the ground, when Zaslav took over as part of the Warner Bros. Discovery merger.

In a series of CNN follies, primetime star Don Lemon was moved to a morning show that saw its ratings sink faster than the Titanic, and was later axed after being accused of sexism and toxic workplace scandals.

Don Lemon, Jeff Zucker
Zucker and former CNN anchor Don Lemon have been hanging out this summer.
FilmMagic

(Lemon claims the network fired him for refusing to put up with “bigots and liars” on-air).

Then Licht — whom several sources told us staffers didn’t trust — was given the boot after enduring crises including a disastrous town hall with Donald Trump.

The exec was also the subject of an embarrassing profile in the Atlantic.

Chris Licht
We hear even with Licht gone, staffers are still stressed.
Getty Images

Senior leaders of the p.r. team were also canned.

But Zucker still seems to be the one most staffers trust.

Tapper also stated, “I adored Jeff, and I would like for Jeff not to have left, but he did.”

CNN’s former boss also had a reunion of sorts last weekend at Lemon’s Sag Harbor home, where they celebrated the network’s former contributor and “The View” host Sunny Hostin’s new book, “Summer on Sag Harbor.”

Jeff Zucker, Alisyn Camerota
Zucker was photographed holding hands with longtime friend, anchor Alisyn Camerota.
Elder Ordonez / SplashNews.com

Current CNN anchors Abby Phillips and Alisyn Camerota were also on the scene, and a photo of Zucker holding hands with the Camerota had tongues wagging. But several sources told TheFantasyTimes they are just “old friends.”

“Jeff was instrumental in Alisyn’s career at CNN,” said one source. “She is one of many people Jeff has kept in touch with.”

Another source told us that Gollust was right behind them, and that the trio headed for coffee at the American Hotel after.

David Zaslav
Zaslav’s Discovery merged with Warner Media in 2021.
Getty Images

Zucker, Gollust, Lemon and his fiancé, Tim Malone, have been spending a lot of time together this summer.

They were spotted in Italy for power agent Jay Sures’ wedding, and later got together again for dinner at Kissaki in Water Mill.

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