CNN and Don Lemon Just Received More Disappointing News

Don Lemon's new morning show on CNN alongside Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins is not doing so well, at least according to the numbers via viewership. His exit from primetime came after a heated, expletive-fueled, on-air discussion in which he blasted a Republican commentator in Sept. 2022. The move to morning news was announced on Thurs. Sept. 15 and came amid CNN's new chairman and CEO – Chris Licht – making major shakeups to reportedly save struggling ratings. Now, CNN This Morning is seemingly struggling in its debut week. 

The show debuted to less than 390,000 viewers this week after heavy promotion from the network. It's predecessor, New Day, earned higher ratings in its final days, Daily Mail reports. Its competitors are doing much better, including Morning Joe on MSNBC, which brought in 793,000 viewers, and FOX and Friends, which drew in 1.5 million viewers. Lemon and co's show also debuted to 50,000 less viewers on average than New Day, with just 71,000 viewers considered within CNN's demographic. Though still early, it's hard to tell how this will impact his future at the network. 

CNN has reportedly been letting go of journalists who are viewed as political-left and too critical of Donald Trump and the GOP. Lemon said in Oct. 2022 that CNN wasn't making him change his political views. 

He took to Instagram this week to share his excitement about the new venture. He posted a video to Instagram Reels showing himself prepping for his first AM shift. 

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Lemon joined CNN as a correspondent in 2006 before he joined the network fully in 2014. In 2021, he debuted Don Lemon Tonight. The 56-year-old reflected on his last eight years in prime-time news before transitioning to the morning show team. "Not goodbye, but certainly the end of an era as we sign off this last broadcast of Don Lemon Tonight, more than eight years, thousands of hours of live TV, historic moments and tough conversations," Lemon said in part. "A lot happened between 10 and midnight, or later."