Time has run out for CNN's "Don Lemon Tonight," as the embattled cable network is moving the far-left host from prime time to a new morning show, CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO Chris Licht announced Thursday.
What are the details?
CNN said the "reimagined morning show" will feature Lemon alongside Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins and debut later this year. Harlow will co-anchor with Lemon, the network said, and Collins will co-anchor and serve as chief correspondent for the show.
CNN added that John Berman and Brianna Keilar will keep anchoring "New Day" until the new program premieres. Keilar and Berman will assume new roles at the cable network later this year, CNN also noted.
“The last eight years have been an incredible ride. I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of the best show teams in the business, but it’s time to shake things up. I am so appreciative of the 'Don Lemon Tonight' team, my wonderful, loyal viewers, and everyone who has believed in me,” Lemon stated, according CNN's press release. “I was honestly floored when Chris Licht asked me to do this, and I’m honored by his belief in me. It’s going to be a thrill to take on this challenge with Poppy and Kaitlan. I’ll get to work with two of my dearest friends. Set your alarms folks, because we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
The New York Post said Licht dropping Lemon from prime time has been a "long-anticipated move" as new brass is said to be shifting the CNN away from left-wing commentary to something more in the political center.
Indeed, Lemon's departure from prime time comes on the heels of former "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter's headline-grabbing departure from CNN last month.
Stelter, like Lemon, often espoused leftist leanings and was no fan of former President Donald Trump. Perhaps not surprisingly, Stelter just landed a gig as a media and democracy fellow for the fall semester at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Also recently gone from CNN were left-leaning White House correspondent John Harwood earlier this month and disgraced legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin in August. Prior to that there were the scandalous departures of former CNN head Jeff Zucker and anchor Chris Cuomo, not to mention the embarrassingly fast demise of CNN+ earlier this year.
The Post added that Lemon hosted the lowest-ranked prime time program in August, averaging 660,000 viewers. By comparison, the paper said Fox News dominated in August with nine shows making up the 10 highest-rated cable news shows with millions of viewers.
Here are a pair of Lemon's recent leftist pronouncements:
- Earlier this month, he defended President Joe Biden's "semi-fascism" term to describe "MAGA Republicans," arguing Biden's words during his were "unifying" because some believe they are "true."
- In July, he said the media should not treat Democrats and Republicans as equals because the GOP is "very dangerous to our society."