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CNN boss' son quits Cory Booker's startup

August 7, 2013: 4:23 PM ET

130807135143-cory-booker-620xaWhy did a tech startup hire the teenage son of a cable news boss?

FORTUNE -- New Jersey senatorial candidate Cory Booker was "not involved at all" in the addition of Andrew Zucker to the advisory board of a tech startup that Booker co-founded, according to a company spokesperson. And now it may not much matter, as the 15 year-old has resigned from the board -- effective as of earlier this afternoon.

Zucker is the son of CNN president Jeff Zucker, and his arrangement with Booker's venture was viewed in some quarters as being inappropriate.

The company is Waywire, a digital video curation site that has raised venture capital funding from such folks as Oprah Winfrey and Google (GOOG) chairman Eric Schmidt. Booker is one of three co-founders, alongside veteran marketing executive Sarah Ross (ex-Yahoo, TechCrunch, etc.) and former Gilt Groupe executive Nathan Richardson (who serves as Waywire's CEO).

Andrew Zucker's involvement seems to have first stemmed from a conversation that Sarah Ross had with an existing Waywire advisor, who had heard that the kid had a knack for spotting tech adoption trends among teens. For example, Andrew and a small group of his friends were known to informally advise his father on such matters, such as why some young people would be interested in the Vine video service but not in Twitter's traditional text service.

Ross met with both Andrew Zucker and Jeff Zucker, and reached an agreement whereby Andrew would join the Waywire advisory board in exchange for what the spokesperson refers to as a "de minimus" number of stock options (at least in comparison to other Waywire option grants).

It is unclear what led to this afternoon's resignation, which was disclosed to Fortune by a CNN spokesperson.

[Disclosure: FORTUNE.com is part of CNNMoney, which is produced in partnership with CNN.]

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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