Jeff Zucker has found a new communications head for CNN.
The president of CNN Worldwide, who officially joined the struggling cable news brand in January, announced Friday that former NBC Universal corporate communications svp Allison Gollust will join CNN Worldwide in March.
Overseeing all messaging strategy and execution for the CNN portfolio, acting as chief spokesperson and serving as CNN Worldwide communications svp, Gollust will report directly to Turner Broadcasting communications svp Jeff Matteson.
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“In the 15 years that Allison and I have worked together, I’ve depended on her judgment, counsel and relationships,” said Zucker. “Allison is joining CNN at an exciting time, and she and the strong communications team she’s inheriting will play a critical role in shaping the organization and its story going forward. It’s great to have her at CNN.”
The changes have been coming fast and furious at CNN, most notable seeing managing editor Mark Whitaker exit his contract in late January. The roster of on-air talent has also been evolving, with Jake Tapper and Chris Cuomo coming to CNN from ABC News and James Carville and Mary Matalin among those departing.
Gollust most recently served as communications director for New York governor Andrew Cuomo. Her previous tenure at NBC Universal started in 1996, and during her time she worked with NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and the Weather Channel.
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“Allison is among the most experienced and respected communications executives in the media industry, and her close working relationship with Jeff Zucker is one of its most successful professional partnerships,” said Matteson. “The regard in which she is held by the press and her peers; her reputation for integrity, accessibility and candor; her ability to lead talented teams; and her importance to Jeff as an adviser and spokesperson make her a great fit for this key role, and a great addition to Turner Broadcasting’s leadership ranks.”
CNN recently saw one of its biggest ratings swells since Zucker joined. The network topped all cable competition with the coveted adults 25-54 demographic during coverage of President Obama's State of the Union address.