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CNN says Jeff Zucker did not apologize to staff for Freddie Gray article

CNN disputes story that Zucker apologized for line in Freddie Gray story.

CNN is denying a story that said President Jeff Zucker apologized to staff during a "town hall event" Tuesday for a reference made to Freddie Gray's mother in an online story.

The alleged apology was reported by The Wrap, which attributed its information to "an Insider." It included quotes attributed to Zucker, and was headlined "Jeff Zucker Apologized to CNN Staff for Controversial Freddie Gray Story (Exclusive)." Read it here.

Zucker was said to have been apologizing for an online article by Ann O'Neill and Aaron Cooper that was posted Monday and described Freddie Gray as "the son of an illiterate heroin addict."

The cable news operation deleted that reference Monday night amid criticism on social media.

It added an editor's note, saying: "A reference to Freddie Gray's mother was removed from this story because it appeared out of context."

"The Wrap is wrong," Bridget Leininger, a spokeswoman for the channel, wrote in an email to the Sun Tuesday afternoon. "Their characterization of an apology to staff is wrong. He did not apologize to CNN staff."

When asked for further clarification, Leininger wrote: "It was addressed in an internal staff meeting today that covered a broad range of topics."

As to what was said by Zucker about the article, Leininger added, "He talked about the editor’s note that was posted to the story last night and the thinking behind it for transparency for staff (and the public). "

She reiterated that, "The Wrap’s characterization of an apology to staff is the part that is inaccurate."

In an email to The Sun, Thom Geier, deputy managing editor for The Wrap, wrote, "We recently updated our story to include Zucker’s full comments on the Freddie Gray story during the town hall event, as well as the network’s denials that his repeated admission of a 'mistake' constituted an apology despite how our network sources characterized the substance and context of his remarks."

Read the updated story at The Wrap here.

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