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CNN host Don Lemon was demoted from his own primetime show to an ensemble cast and the only next step for him would be his exit from the network. The newest iteration of CNN’s morning show, “CNN This Morning,” hosted by Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins is the lowest-rated CNN morning show of any in its history.
CNN has long failed to keep pace with its cable news competitors Fox News and MSNBC during the morning hours. But it hasn’t been this bad in quite some time. The revamped program with Lemon is the network’s lowest-rated morning show iteration in nearly a decade.
“Since its Nov. 1, 2022 launch, “CNN This Morning” — hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins — has drawn in the lowest viewership among adults 25-54, the key demographic for cable news, and the second-lowest total viewership among each iteration of the network’s morning programming since ‘New Day’ was launched in June 2013, according to Nielsen data,” the outlet comments.
Specifically, Lemon has sunk total viewership of 16.2% compared to the most recent iteration of “New Day. In the demo, viewership has decreased by 21% with the show’s first three months on-air.
And this news comes after it was reported that Lemon berated one of his cohosts off the air.
Lemon appears to have gone even further with his rage following an off-the-air incident with morning show co-host Kaitlin Collins.
According to a recent report from the New York Post, several sources said that Lemon “screamed” at Collins following an on-air incident on the set of “CNN This Morning,” with tensions continuing to rise as the show tanks and as Lemon, apparently, is unhappy sharing on-air duties with Collins and fellow co-host Poppy Harlow.
The Post noted: “According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, the 56-year-old Lemon approached 30-year-old Collins following the show’s Thursday, Dec. 8 broadcast — and unloaded on her in front of staffers as he accused her of interrupting him on air. News of the explosive incident made its way up to CNN CEO Chris Licht, who is said to have been appalled by Lemon’s behavior, according to a source. A second source said a producer talked to Lemon at the behest of Licht and told the anchor to take the next day off to ‘cool off.'”
“Don screamed at Kaitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” one source with knowledge of the incident told The Post.
The outlet reported as well that the night after the incident, Lemon, Harlow, and Collins were scheduled to get drinks and travel together to a White House Christmas party for media figures, the source noted. However, the gathering never took place and the three traveled to the party separately, said “an insider.” Following the party, Lemon and his agent, Jay Sures, had a late-night dinner, sources added.
Now, Radar Online is reporting on the fallout from The Post’s report last week after CNN reportedly included a link to it in one of its internal newsletters.
“Don lost his mind internally and went ballistic at staffers after the CNN newsletter highlighted a story about him screaming,” the “insider” told Radar Online for its Friday report.
“At this point, Kaitlan wants to be on set with Don as little as possible,” one source with knowledge of what’s going on told The Post. “It’s messy.”
Last week, another insider told The Wrap that the three co-hosts also appear to be frustrated with the show’s progression after CNN CEO Chris Licht hand-selected them for the gig.
“The show can’t decide strategically what exactly it is, so it’s trying to be everything that can create whiplash for a viewer when segments seem off-brand in tonality,” the insider said.
“The audience for morning news on network TV is different than the cable news audience, and since we’re not gaining new viewers, we definitely need to retain our legacy ones,” they said.