The hosts of CNN This morning were eager to get to the news on Tuesday, but before they could, hosts Poppy Harlow And Kaitlan Collins had to address their own show. A day before, Don Citroenthe third host of the six-month-old program — and the network’s 17-year veteran — had been fired after months of controversy. Harlow read CNN’s CEO Chris Light‘s statement, saying that Lemon “will forever be part of the CNN family. We wish him well and will encourage him in his future endeavors.” Collins agreed with Light. “We wish him well,” she said, noting that Lemon was “one of the first anchors at CNN to have me on his show,” something she said she’ll “never forget.” Harlow added that Lemon was one of her “first friends here at CNN.” She added, “Kaitlan and I are very proud of this show.” That’s how they started their broadcast.
While Harlow and Collins were diplomatic in their handling of the news, Lemon had been anything but Monday. “After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly,” Lemon said in a statement. rack on Twitter, writing that he was “stunned” to learn from his agent “that I’ve been fired from CNN”.
As my colleague Joe Pompeo reported that Lemon was given a chance to talk to Licht on Monday, but he declined. In addition, “CNN wanted to go public in a joint message, but Lemon went ahead with that with his tweet.”
Lemon’s termination comes as Licht nears a year with the network where he has been trying to cut volume in the postDonald Trump presidency and moves into what can be seen as politically neutral territory. (In the process, Light has people like Brian Stelterand his show with media criticism Reliable sourceswhere Trump and Fox News were frequent targets; Stelter, who is now a special correspondent at vanity purse, He reportedly told people he was made a sacrificial lamb to signal to the right that the network was changing course.) Meanwhile, Licht has faced layoffs, budget cuts and falling ratings. Morning shows have traditionally been his special sauce – he’s made a name for himself with Good morning Joe and later with CBS this morning— and revamping CNNs was a priority, but the future of the much-hyped CNN this morningthat got off to a slow start in ratings is now an open question. Some have speculated that Collins, who recently hosted CNN’s still-without-a-permanent-host 9 p.m., could be moved to primetime. in that case it would give the Light a chance to almost completely reset the morning show,” CNN said Oliver Darcy wrote Monday.
The show may need to be reset. Several factors apparently played a role in Lemon’s termination, including sexist comments he had made about Nikki HaleyLemon apologized for those comments — and Licht publicly reprimanded them — but an internal investigation found they nonetheless alienated some of the network’s audience, according to the New York TimesAnd “over the past few weeks, CNN’s bookers had discovered that some guests didn’t want to appear on the air with” Lemon, according to the Time.Earlier this month a damning report came in Variety claiming that Lemon had a history of misogynistic behavior — allegations that Lemon denied, but which only added to bad headlines about the CNN star, some of which involved his own co-anchors. Lemon reportedly accused Collins of interrupting him too many times during a backstage incident, tensions that also appeared to spill out on camera Lemon, after anchoring his primetime show for eight years Don lemon tonightwasn’t used to sharing hosting duties, nor was he used to the tone of a morning show, with the Time noting that Lemon, who “attracted fans for his prickly exchanges and bland commentary on politics and the Trump White House,” had “an awkward fit for an hour when many viewers — making breakfast and taking kids to school — want easy going banter, no thunderous monologues.” Light herself recently seemed to acknowledge that Lemon’s old calling card was no longer on the menu at CNN:
Figuring out the morning programming will be another puzzle for Licht, who is still trying to figure out his primetime schedule. Laura Coatesis apparently on hold: “Coates was told the network couldn’t staff a separate hour and all Alisyn Camerotaanchoring at 10 p.m. would be extended by a second hour,” Insider reported last week. And more changes to primetime are coming: Over the weekend, CNN announced that CBS mornings anchor Gayle King and former NBA star Charles Barley will host a new weekly primetime show entitled King Charlesairs on Wednesdays and launches this fall. In particular, the presenters have already said that the show will not be political.