Don Lemon will no longer be on primetime on CNN. Instead, the 58-year-old is reportedly set to usher in a new morning news program as the network continues to undergo changes amid its parent company's merger. The move comes after a heated, expletive-fueled, on-air discussion in which Lemon blasted a Republican commentator earlier this month. It was announced on Thurs. Sept. 15 as CNN's new chairman and CEO – Chris Licht – makes more shakeups to reportedly save struggling ratings. Per Licht's statement, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins will join Lemon when the new program debuts later this year.
"There is no stronger combination of talent than Don, Poppy, and Kaitlan to deliver on our promise of a game-changing morning news program," Licht said in his statement. "They are each uniquely intelligent, reliable and compelling; together they have a rare and palpable chemistry. Combined with CNN's resources and global newsgathering capabilities, we will offer a smart, bold and refreshing way to start the day."
Lemon lost his spot as he tried to preview President Joe Biden's reported battle for the soul of the nation speech. In an exchange with political commentator Scott Jennings, Lemon debated a panel of experts, including political analyst Natasha Alford of theGrio, about whether former president Donald Trump supporters and allies are semi-fascist.
"Listen, Scott, no, no, no listen," he told Jennings. "The former president every single day talked s–t about everybody, including other presidents (and) including members of his own party. Probably you on CNN. Now everybody is all of a sudden, they have got the vapors about one statement that Joe Biden made in his entire year and a half of his presidency. It is just… Spare me the."
Lemon added: "In the last year and a half, a lot of things have happened and I say, all Republicans, Republicans who come on CNN like you and leaders, they have a lot to answer for because they have made excuses for this president's behavior the entire time he was in office and now that he is out of office when it is blatantly obvious that many of the things he did were wrong!"