CNN’s Don Lemon denies being demoted after losing prime-time gig for ensemble morning show


NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

CNN’s Don Lemon insisted on Thursday that he had not been demoted after the network announced it would move from primetime “Don Lemon Tonight” to an ensemble morning show later this year.

In the world of television news, a prime-time show with the name of the host is considered the highest possible perch. On ABC and NBC, the signature morning shows may reign supreme, but in the world of cable, prime time has always been king. Lemon addressed the CNN audience when host Laura Coates brought up the reshuffle during their transfer, and his tone was unmistakably defensive.

Don Lemon insists CNN did not demote him.
(Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for THR)

“I was presented with an opportunity that I just can’t pass up, on this network, and we have a new boss who is a morning show [expert]. And he wants a morning show that will launch the editorial leadership of the network, every day, and I’m honored that he asked me to do that,” Lemon told viewers Thursday.

CNN SHAKEUP: DON LEMON MOVED FROM PRIMETIME TO MORNING, FIGHTING TO BE REPLACED ‘NEW DAY’

“For everyone out there saying, ‘Oh he moved me and without my –’ he asked me and I said yes. I could have said no. It is my show, I have a contract for this show, I decided to take him on this and take this journey with him. He is not someone who moves me, “continued Lemon. . “I haven’t been demoted. None of that. It’s an opportunity. It’s a promotion. It’s an opportunity for me to create something around myself and work with two great ladies. [Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins] who you know.”

He also denied he was going to be forced to “move to the right”, an implied acknowledgment of his liberal views, and he said Twitter chatter to the contrary was “not real”.

Coates had his back, telling viewers that “no one is dictating anything to Don Lemon.”

Indeed, CNN CEO Chris Licht has a reputation as an authority on morning shows after his work with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and “CBS This Morning,” but the decision to remove Lemon from the hours prime time was not seen as a promotion in many media circles.

“This is an extremely embarrassing demotion for Don Lemon, and likely a prelude to his firing. When this new morning show launches and flounders in the ratings, which it will, he will be the first to go. CNN had been trying for years to fix its morning lineup and Don Lemon is not the answer,” a longtime network morning show producer told Fox News Digital.

LIBERALS GROWLING ON CNN CANCELING BRIAN STELTER SHOW PROVES CRITICS IT WAS ‘ANTI-CONSERVATIVE PORN’

Lemon seems to have taken notice of the backlash over the announcement on social media, where the CNN host took heat from all sides.

CNN CEO Chris Licht has announced the highly anticipated "re-invent" morning show this week on CNN, tapping Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow to co-host a show to replace difficulties "New day."

CNN CEO Chris Licht announced the long-awaited “reinvented” morning show on CNN this week, bringing in Don Lemon, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow to co-host a show to replace the struggling “New Day.”
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)

Former liberal MSNBC host Keith Olbermann promoted his latest podcast with a tweet declaring “Chris Licht downgrades Don Lemon in the CNN wilderness.” In a rare instance where conservative Media Research Center President Brent Bozell is on the same page as Olbermann, he tweeted that CNN was “hiding” Lemon in a “failed morning show.”

OutKick founder Clay Travis shared a video with his thoughts on the CNN shakeup.

“Don Lemon has been demoted from his prime time TV show and he will now be on an early morning show. So Don Lemon will be moving from a prime time CNN program that no one has watched at an early morning CNN program that no one is going to watch. Kudos to him on the massive, massive, massive promotion,” Travis said.

“Don Lemon has been demoted,” wrote comedian Tim Young, while conservative pundit Carmine Sabia added, “CNN host Don Lemon loses Primetime show, morning show ‘New Day “is to be canceled and Lemon moved to the morning as part of a welcoming team. demotion for propagandist.”

FOX NEWS CHANNEL CRUSHES CNN AND MSNBC COMBINED IN AUGUST AS ‘GUTFELD!’ DISASSEMBLES COLBERT

Lemon was still defending himself on Friday, when he tweeted, “That’s why I’m going morning,” to accompany the video of his Thursday night comments.

Lemon will join CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins on the “reimagined” morning show that will replace the long-debated “New Day.” The move leaves CNN with another primetime gaping hole, as “Cuomo Prime Time” still hasn’t been replaced since its namesake host Chris Cuomo was fired last year.

Don Lemon tonight" averaged 619,000 nightly viewers in 2022 to rank 41st among cable news programs, despite its prime time slot.

Don Lemon Tonight” averaged 619,000 nightly viewers in 2022 to rank 41st among cable’s news programs, despite its prime time slot.
(CNN)

From a viewership perspective, Lemon’s prime-time program wasn’t much more successful than the morning show Licht unplugged from. “Don Lemon Tonight” averaged 619,000 nightly viewers in 2022 to rank 41st among cable news programs despite its desirable timeslot. The soon-to-be-replaced “New Day” averaged 414,000 daily viewers to rank 43rd on cable news. Both programs track dozens of offerings from Fox News and MSNBC, including a variety of midday programs that historically aren’t rated as highly as morning or primetime shows.

TRUMP SAYS CNN HAS ‘WORSE’ UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP: ‘THEY’VE LOST HUGE CREDIBILITY’

CNN’s changes come as Licht and his bosses at Warner Bros. Discovery are hoping to restore CNN’s reputation as a nonpartisan media outlet after it shifted drastically to the left during the Trump era. Chris Barron, a conservative communications pundit and frequent CNN critic, doesn’t believe Lemon will help the network’s goal of emphasizing “news” over liberal opinion programming.

“Don Lemon’s decision is to shuffle the deck chairs on Titanic. CNN won’t regain credibility by moving partisan hacks like Lemon from prime time to morning,” Barron told Fox News Digital.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

Outkick and Fox News share common ownership.


foxnews

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button