Couric worked under Zucker when he was executive producer of the Today show on NBC in the early 2000s, as well as on her 2012 daytime talk show, Katie, which ended in 2014. Gollust had also previously worked as Today's senior publicist. Although Zucker said in a memo to CNN employees about his resignation that he and Gollust's relationship had only recently evolved during COVID, in her memoir, Going There, Couric wrote that some colleagues felt Zucker and Gollust's closeness was "super-strange" and that since she was close friends with Zucker's then-wife, Caryn, she felt "really uncomfortable."
In a statement through Katie Couric Media, Couric says Zucker's resignation took her by surprise and called out some for ignoring "inappropriate behavior."
"I worked with Jeff Zucker for many years at NBC and later on my talk show. He was a talented and energetic producer," her statement reads. "His resignation took me by surprise. I've also known Allison Gollust since my days at the TODAY show. I've wondered about the nature of their relationship, but I do know, as I wrote in my memoir Going There, that it made me uncomfortable. It seems their colleagues and the media at large turned a blind eye to inappropriate behavior."
In Going There, Couric wrote that Zucker, who was the executive producer of Katie, made a "huge push" to bring on Gollust.
"They were joined at the hip," she claimed of the two. "The problem was, we'd already hired a PR person for the show. Jeff asked me to meet with her anyway."
"I had to wonder why Jeff was angling so hard to bring Allison on board," she continued. "She and her husband and kids had moved into the apartment right above Jeff and Caryn's -- everyone who heard about the cozy arrangement thought it was super-strange. By that point, Caryn had become a close friend and it made me really uncomfortable."
Couric decided to not hire Gollust and she wrote that she was later overlooked for a job at CNN, despite supporting Zucker to become the head of the network.
"His first hire? Allison Gollust. Oh, and I never did hear from him about that job," Couric wrote.
In a memo about his resignation, Zucker didn't name Gollust, who continues to serve as Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer, CNN Worldwide.
"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," Zucker said in the memo reported by the network's chief media correspondent, Brian Stelter. "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."
In a statement to CNN, Gollust confirmed that her longtime relationship with Zucker had recently evolved, adding that she'll remain in her position.
"Jeff and I have been close friends and professional partners for over 20 years," the statement reads. "Recently, our relationship changed during COVID. I regret that we didn't disclose it at the right time. I'm incredibly proud of my time at CNN and look forward to continuing the great work we do everyday."