CNN’s Don Lemon Seeks Lowest Ratings Since Taking Morning Show Slot


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Things appear to have gone from bad to worse for CNN personality Don Lemon after he lost his prime time slot on the network last fall and was moved to a morning show co-hosting gig in November.

The Washington Examiner reported Thursday that ratings for “CNN This Morning” were the worst this week since Lemon joined in November after what he insisted was a “promotion” for him.

The outlet added:

During the week of Jan. 16, Nielsen data show Lemon drew an average of 408,000 total viewers, with a mere average of 87,000 viewers in the key 25-54 age demographic. The ratings struggle did not help CNN. It placed 15th overall in total day viewership — the network’s smallest delivery since 2014, according to TVNewser.

Fox News continued to dominate in the ratings last week, leading ad-supported basic cable networks in total viewers with an average of 1.39 million viewers and placing second in the key 25-54 demographic, behind ESPN, with 176,000 viewers. CNN’s liberal media rival MSNBC placed third in total day viewers with 629,000 viewers.

In late October, Lemon informed his prime-time viewers in an emotional send-off that he was moving to the morning slot where he co-hosts with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.


According to a separate report on Thursday from Radar Online, in addition to poor ratings, there may also be some tension mounting between Lemon and Collins. The outlet said it “can exclusively report on the secret drama between Lemon, Kaitlan Collins, and Poppy Harlow that is rumored to be causing a stir on-set,” adding:

Not only is the former night owl adjusting to a new work schedule that has him rising before the crack of dawn, but he is also getting used to a change in the dynamic.

“Don went into this thinking of himself as Beyoncé and his co-hosts as his backup dancers,” an insider alleged to the outlet, claiming further that wasn’t the case after the show launched. “That attitude did not fly — especially with Kaitlan. She won’t play second fiddle to Don.”

Lemon got emotional last year as he informed viewers of his little-watched program of the change.

“I was not always perfect because no one is perfect,” the host said. “There are immense pressures that come with this job and, in particular, this time slot at 10:00 o’clock when people are going to bed. So sometimes all I could do – I am going to be honest with you – was just smile and just get to the commercial break sometimes.”


“Sometimes, it was exhausting. Because some of the things that we discuss here are so personal and so consuming, all-consuming. So, I hope I made you proud. And I thank you for tuning in all these years. And I hope that you are going to join me in the morning,” he said.

“So I will simply say good night, and I will see you soon. All right, so I’m going to leave, and I am going to go upstairs,” the host said as he walked to a flight of stairs, sniffling.

Previously, Lemon said his move was a “promotion.”

“This is not someone saying you must move to the right, Don Lemon, and give so much of your perspective,” the host said. “That is not real. This is fodder for Twitter. This is an opportunity. This is a promotion. This is an opportunity for me to create something around me and I get to work with two great ladies who you know.”

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On Tuesday, Forbes reported that Fox News’ “The Five” was the most-watched cable news program, and that the network, overall, was simply dominating its competitors.

“In prime time, Fox News led the cable news networks with an average total audience of 1.996 million viewers—beating CNN and MSNBC combined,” the outlet noted. “Overall, Fox had fully 92 of the 100 highest-rated cable news telecasts for the week. Among viewers 25-54, the demographic group most valued by advertisers, Tucker Carlson Tonight was first with 442,000 viewers, followed by The Five (374,000 viewers), Hannity (303,000 viewers), Jesse Watters Primetime (266,000 viewers) and Special Report with Bret Baier (256,000 viewers).”

And its morning show, “Fox & Friends” crushed its competitors as well, with a total audience of 1.260 million viewers as the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” averaged 760,000 viewers and “CNN This Morning” had its worst week with 331,000 viewers.