CNN's New Year's Eve Replacements for Don Lemon Revealed

Lemon was ousted from the network earlier this year.

Former longtime CNN anchor Don Lemon's replacement for the network's live annual New Year's Eve shindig has been announced. Lemon was fired earlier this year after a series of on-air events and behind-the-scenes complaints. He notoriously screamed at his former co-host Kaitlin Collins in December 2022 after he alleged she interrupted him during a tense broadcast of CNN This Morning. The incident set off a bunch of toxic workplace behavior leaks with Lemon at the center. At the time of his firing, Lemon released a statement, noting: "I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play. With that said, I want to thank my colleagues and the many teams I have worked with for an incredible run. They are the most talented journalists in the business, and I wish them all the best." CNN denied his claim, alleging he was invited to a meeting to discuss things further, but declined. 

This year, Sara Sidner and Cari Champion will host the NYE event. Variety reports Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will return as hosts of CNN's main coverage of the evening. Lemon used to host the side broadcast and interact with the crowds. The live event will include performances from Enrique Iglesias, Maroon 5, Jonas Brothers, Flo Rida, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, and Rod Stewart and live interviews with Patti Labelle, Jeremy Renner, Neil Patrick Harris, Bowen Yang, and Matt Rogers. The show will also stream live on CNN Max, the company's new streaming hub.

Lemon, who has worked for over 30 years, has been enjoying a hiatus of sorts. Page Six reports he spent the summer living it up in the Hamptons. He previously noted that he was not in a rush to return to work, or look for a new job, and would relax and catch up on time with friends and family that he's missed out on due to his demanding career schedule. 

In an interview with ABC24, his first since the firing, Lemon said that he refused to conform to CNN's respectability politics, which is why he was fired. "I have a responsibility not only as a journalist but as an American to tell the truth and abide by the promises of the constitution," he said. "Because the constitution says a more perfect union, not a perfect union. I'm not perfect. No one is, but I think in order to fulfill the promise of the constitution, we have to stand up for what is right. We have to stand up for the truth."