By Tom Precious
ALBANY – When Allison Gollust came to Albany just four months ago to run the communications efforts for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, most Capitol observers knew one of her most difficult tasks would be breaking into the tight-knit world that is the close and tiny circle of advisors that Cuomo relies on each day.
On Friday, Gollust announced she was quitting the administration, and rejoining her former boss, Jeffrey Zucker, who she worked with at NBC Universal. She now follows him after he was recently named president of CNN Worldwide.
Gollust, in a letter to Cuomo, acknowledged that the draw back to television and the chance to work again with Zucker are among the reasons for leaving Cuomo so soon. But she also noted that “serving in state government requires an unparalleled commitment to flexible schedules, days away from home and significant time spent in Albany.”
“This commitment required far more time in Albany than I anticipated, and logistically this return to the private sector will work much better for my family,’’ wrote Gollust, who has a husband and two young children in Manhattan, in the letter to her ex-boss.
In her new job, she will be CNN’s senior vice president for communications; she held various public relations posts at NBC, including overseeing all communications divisions for NBC Universal under Zucker.
In her resignation letter, she used every possible adjective to describe working with Cuomo: fascinating, meaningful, rewarding, groundbreaking, historic, extraordinary, tremendous.
Gollust, who had little daily contact with reporters who actually cover Cuomo at the Capitol, was getting paid $169,100 a year working for Cuomo — an amount she will obviously see leap by joining CNN.