CNN Appoints Interim Leadership After Jeff Zucker’s Sudden Exit

Michael Bass, Amy Entelis and Ken Jautz will jointly oversee the troubled network

Ken Jautz, Amy Entelis and Michael Bass (CNN)
Ken Jautz, Amy Entelis and Michael Bass (CNN)

CNN executives Michael Bass, Amy Entelis and Ken Jautz have been tapped to lead the company on an interim basis following the sudden resignation of company president Jeff Zucker on Wednesday.

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar made the announcement shortly after Zucker resigned, telling staffers in an email, “We are fortunate to have three senior leaders within the News organization who have agreed to serve as interim co-heads for CNN beginning today through what you should anticipate will be through the close of the pending transaction with Discovery.”

Bass is CNN’s executive director of programming, Entelis is executive vice president for talent and content development and Jautz is executive vice president.

Lenny Daniels will continue as president of Turner Sports and Bleacher Report, Kilar said in the email, while Patrick Crumb will stay on as president of the company’s regional sports networks.

In his own email Wednesday, Zucker wrote, “As part of the investigation into Chris Cuomo’s tenure at CNN, I was asked about a consensual relationship with my closest colleague, someone I have worked with for more than 20 years. I acknowledged the relationship evolved in recent years. I was required to disclose it when it began but I didn’t. I was wrong. As a result, I am resigning today.”

Allison Gollust, who serves as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, acknowledged that she and Zucker have been in a romantic relationship. “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,” Gollust said in her own statement on Wednesday. She intends to remain at the network.