HomeUS MediaDon Lemon Departs CNN After 17 Years

Don Lemon Departs CNN After 17 Years

  • EDITORIAL BRIEF: Lemon’s exit from CNN on Monday, April 24, 2023, marked a significant day in the cable news business, but not in a positive sense. His departure came amid poor ratings for CNN This Morning and controversy over misogynistic remarks he made towards Nikki Haley in March. Despite CNN’s statement that Lemon will always be a part of the CNN family, it remains to be seen what his future endeavors will be.

CNN announced on Monday, April 24, 2023, that it was parting ways with one of its longest-tenured and most recognizable on-air personalities, Don Lemon. The network’s CEO, Chris Licht, released a statement thanking Lemon for his contributions over the past 17 years and wishing him well in his future endeavors. Lemon had co-hosted CNN This Morning since its launch in November 2022.

Despite the surprise announcement, Lemon appeared on CNN This Morning as usual on Monday. However, the exit was not entirely unexpected given the poor ratings for CNN This Morning and the controversy that erupted in March when Lemon made misogynistic remarks towards 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley. In response to the outcry, Lemon was suspended and mandated to undergo rehabilitation, which he promised to do. He also apologized on Twitter to the network, his colleagues, and the audience.

A report from Variety’s Tatiana Siegel earlier this month detailed Lemon’s poor behavior at CNN dating back to when he joined the network as an Atlanta-based co-anchor of CNN Newsroom in 2006. The report described negative interactions with former CNN anchors Kyra Phillips and Soledad O’Brien, among other women at the network. CNN dismissed the report as “riddled with patently false anecdotes and no concrete evidence” and based entirely on “unsourced, unsubstantiated, 15-year-old anonymous gossip.”

Lemon had an eight-year run as a primetime host on CNN, beginning in April 2014 with CNN Tonight with Don Lemon. He had become a network fixture since he started at CNN in September 2006, having previously served as a co-anchor for the 5 p.m. newscast for NBC5 News in Chicago.

The news of Lemon’s exit from CNN came less than an hour after Fox News announced that it was parting ways with its most popular personality, Tucker Carlson. The cable news’ most-watched host was exiting Fox after the network settled a $787.5 million lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems.

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