Don Lemon absent from ‘CNN This Morning’
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
Following controversial comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and reported riffs between his co-anchors, Don Lemon did not appear on Feb. 20, 2023’s edition of “CNN This Morning” — and insiders say his future at the network could be in jeopardy.
Lemon’s comments about Haley happened Feb. 16, 2023. He was previously scheduled to take the day off Feb. 17, 2023, but he was slated to appear Feb. 20, according to insiders.
However, on Feb. 19, 2023, the network issued a revised lineup that listed Sara Sidner as the third co-anchor, with Lemon missing. Regular co-anchor Poppy Harlow appeared beside her in New York.
Kaitlan Collins, who is also the show’s main correspondent, anchored from Poland, covering President Joe Biden’s surprise visit to the Ukraine.
Sources told The Daily Beast that top executives are debating on what to do about Lemon.
Lemon’s Feb. 16 comments about Haley being “past her prime” stirred controversy and forced him to make an apology.
CNN CEO Chris Licht also shot down Lemon’s comments on an internal editorial call, according to Daily Beast sources.
Lemon reportedly had at least one run-in with Collins on set.
Insiders say that Lemon, who was pulled from the primetime “Don Lemon Tonight” is accustomed to being a solo anchor and can be difficult to work with.
Licht moved Lemon, Harlow and Collins on to the morning shift in November 2022 when low-rated “New Day” was effectively canceled and re-launched as “CNN This Morning.”
The new show has failed to move the meter in the ratings, which could put Lemon’s future at both the show and network more in doubt.
“This Morning” was the first major shakeup instituted on the cable network under Licht. He has also announced plans to reshape the network’s dayside programming with two distinct blocks of news in a yet-to-materialize new format.
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